So I’m at a total loss here.
Front wheel drive Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera, 1987
Long story short, the driver’s side front wheel smokes (billows!), smells bad (a sharp,acrid smell, not sweet), and gets HOT. But I’ve changed the caliper twice, and the wheel bearing once.
It all started when my breaks were grinding so I changed them, but the driver side break was worn down way more than the passenger, so i went ahead and changed the rotor (it was ruined) and the caliper just on the driver side, thinking that would fix it. At this point it had not smoked or smelled.
After doing that, it started smoking! I read online and people said that sometimes that happens if you didn’t clean off the rotor (which I did but I assumed not well enough) so I drove it for a few miles and the smoking stopped. I then took it on a 200 mile round trip on country roads with lots of stops and did not have any issues. When i got back home, the next day it started smoking again.
I changed the caliper again, thinking maybe the car shop had given me a faulty one, but it still smoked, so i changed the wheel bearing. still smoked, so I said fine and took it to the car shop, but on the drive there it was not smoking or acting up and they couldn’t recreate the problem, and on the drive back it was fine (about a 5 mile drive, before it took only about a mile to recreate the problem).
Today, I drove for 10 miles with a few 15 minute stops along the way and only when i got home did it smell faintly and feel very hot, but no smoke
I don’t understand what the issue is. I’ve had my dad and uncle who are both big car buffs look at it and we are all stumped. there does not appear to be a leak and i just can’t imagine it being the caliper.