New Rear Brakes; smoking with burning smell after 1 week

Hi there! We just had our back brakes replaced about a week ago. Ceramic brake pads, rotors were done, calipers serviced, lub, dics, fluid. We went out last night on the highway and the car started to smell funny, a burning smell. We then noticed that there was smoke coming from the drivers rear tire. What could this be from? We just paid $600 for the brakes and service. The guy at the shop was saying it might be the calipers? They just serviced those when they did the brakes. Is this a normal thing? If it is the calipers, should they have noticed this? I don’t know much about vehicles, so really have no idea if this is something that should have been caught before or not. I know calipers aren’t the cheapest part, so am hoping those don’t need to be replaced. The car is currently back at the shop, they said they won’t be able to get to it until later today, so I am hoping I might get some input on what to expect from the shop before they call me back. The repairs were done at a Napa Autopro Service Centre, this is our second time using them, the first time was just an oil change. Thanks!

It sounds like a stuck caliper. Usually the result of one that no longer slides on its guide pins but that should have been addressed with the brake work mentioned. It could also be a stuck caliper piston and that would not normally be something they would address in a caliper service. The pistons can be exercised beyond their normal travel range during a service. This can lead to sticking. If you do need a caliper, it’s not something they could identify with 100% certainty during the brake work mentioned. I’d be worried the pads or rotor got damaged if they were smoking due to overheating…fingers crossed for you…


Thanks for your response. I hope there was no damage to the pads and rotors. I hadn’t even thought of that.

Just a quick question. If there is damage to the rotors and pads due to stuck calipers, would those be covered under the warranty as they were all premium NAPA parts? Thanks.

Warranties are normally to protect against defects in materials or workmanship in fabricating the parts. Yours were subjected to unusual conditions. So by that rule, no. However, the shop may extend some goodwill for your patronage and help with the expenses. If they don’t offer, ask nicely and they may surprise you…

Okay, thanks so much!

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!

I believe Twin Turbo has the answers. In all the time (decades and many cars) I’ve been DIY replacing my brakes, rotors & pads, and “servicing” caliper pins, sliding surfaces, hardware, etcetera, I’ve only had one caliper begin hanging up and dragging. It just happens sometimes.


How old is your Hyundai?

Look to see if there’s a flexible hose section of brake line going to the rear brakes. If so, that’s another possible cause of a caliper that won’t release.

It happens when the inner layers of an old hose begin to flake off and form a 1-way valve for the brake fluid.

The car is a 2011. They called back, it was a stuck caliber piston. They said they will only charge us for the part and not the labour, since it was just in there last week. They told us that we should replace both, which is what I have read we should do while researching today…lol. And the parts aren’t as much as I thought they would be. There was some damage to the pad and rotor on the left rear side, as TwinTurbo suggested. However, they are going to replace those at no cost. So I am happy with how everything was handled and how they took care of everything. Thank you everyone for all of your help. I have a very limited knowledge on vehicles, so this was very helpful.


That’s a great shop you have there! The best way to pay them back for taking care of you, and to ensure they stay in business, is to spread the word about them. Glad to hear it worked out so well!

Yes, we will definitely continue using them and will spread good reviews.

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