I recently got new ceramic brake pads and rotors on my 2LS 2013 Chevrolet Camaro less than a month ago and I've put less than 500 miles on them. However, recently I've noticed that the rear brake rotors are significantly hotter than the front after driving, just based off of the heat radiating from them. In addition, I can smell a bit of an off smell (can't really describe it) from my vehicle, specifically coming from the rear end. I did a quick test and misted some water on the rear rotors and the water instantly "puffs" and evaporates. With the front rotors the water didn't even make a "puff" noise when misted. This was performed after driving about 20 minutes in normal traffic with 2 - 3 stops along the way (traffic lights, stop signs, etc).

One of the original comments from the brake shop where I had this done was that the brakes had become partially engaged while driving due to the rust on the brake rotors which was a partial source of the need for the replacement. As a result, the factory brake pads had worn down the the point of flaking and the rotors had become severely worn / warped.

I would have assumed that braking, regardless of the drivetrain, applies equal braking to all wheels so the rotors should be equally heated.

Is this normal for a RWD vehicle or should I take it back to the brake shop to have this looked at?

  • 3
    Brake systems in most vehicles, regardless of drivetrain, generally applies more braking in the front than in the rear. Sounds like the rears may be dragging a bit, I'd have it looked at for sure.
    – Shamtam
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 20:14
  • I'm thinking the rear brakes have less thermal mass than the fronts (by quite a bit). They will probably become hotter much quicker than the fronts because of this. Less mass to absorb/dissipate the heat. Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:26
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Would I be able to visually inspect that by looking at a side profile of the rotors? To be honest, and I'm no brake expert by any means, but they all appear to be the same set of brakes pads / rotors all the way around the car.
    – William
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:41
  • 1
    Which model of Camaro do you have? There's a big difference in brakes from the RS to the ZL1 models. Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:45
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 - It's a 2LS, nothing fancy here :). Updated the question to reflect the specific trim level.
    – William
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 23:45

1 Answer 1


Usually it's the front brakes that heat up as this is where most braking resistance comes from. Could be a handbrake issue though. If your handbrake did not release completely it could apply a small amount of force, too little for you to notice but enough to heat up the disks.

  • Or of course if you forgot to release the hand/parking brake...
    – Cullub
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 13:19

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