Just got new BACK brakes and now car shakes and emits bad odor

I just recently had new brakes put on in the back of my car. At first things were fine and dandy; but now whenever I travel at the speeds of 45mph-55mph, the car shakes really badly and emits a very terrible odor. Is this something that I should be concerned? Or is this normal for new brakes in the back?

This is not a normal condition, and is potentially VERY DANGEROUS. First thing to do is to use the lug wrench and check all the lug nuts for tightness. I’d call the shop, explain the problem, and see if they would foot the bill for a tow to double-check their work. Shaking wheels and noticeable odors could be indicators of a problem that could cause the loss of a wheel. If you’re driving it when it happens, it could lead to a fatal wreck. Please don’t drive it until it has been looked at by a mechanic.

Thank you for the help. I’ll check the tightness when it’s daylight out tomorrow.


I will assume you have rear drum brakes, unless I hear otherwise

It is quite possible that the shop adjusted those new brake shoes too tight

That could explain the smell

Do the rear drums get hot to the touch? That would be an important clue.

If the rear wheel bearings were changed on drum brakes, the bearing races may not have been pushed in all the way. Then when you drive the stresses will push the race farther in and the hub will be very loose. The flopping around can burn the brake lining.

If you have a hub and bearing unit that is sealed; one of them may have failed.

Since this is speed specific, I wonder if it isn’t brakes at all, but something else. Maybe an engine related issue that is causing the catalyst to emit sulfur dioxide.

What is make/model of vehicle? Drum brakes or discs?