I have a 1998 Nissan Maxima.

It feels as if someone's holding the car back and smoke comes from front right wheelwell after accelerating. It's also getting terrible gas mileage.

Is this a brake issue?

  • Do you know what burning brake pads smell like? Does the smoke smell like that? – Robert Stiffler Feb 16 '18 at 1:50
  • Could certainly be a brake issue. Try to provide as much detail and answer to questions to help us best help you. Q: How long do you drive before it starts smoking? Q: Are there any abnormal sounds that you’ve noticed since this issue, and does the steering pull to the right more than it did before? – kyle_engineer Feb 16 '18 at 5:15


What you describe is a major problem. When a car resists moving and forcing it causes smoke, STOP. Continuing to drive it in this condition could cause major damage and/or accident/injury.

Here are a few things it could be;

  1. Dragging brake(s) - calipers may be damaged or corroded causing the piston to stay extended thus engaging the brake pads to the rotor.
  2. Something is rubbing - it could be the tire rubbing something like the shock/strut tower or some other suspension component.
  3. Damaged Suspension - There could be something wrong with the suspension allowing the car to come in contact with the tire. For instance, a broken spring can allow the car to sit on the tire.

You need to jack it up to see that is going on. If you are unable to work on it yourself, have it towed to a mechanic. DO NOT drive it there.

  • ok i took it to my mechanic and he checked and the AXLE IS DONE FOR do you think thats it – Justice Nelson Feb 17 '18 at 1:45
  • It could be. I can't say for sure without inspecting the car myself. – CharlieRB Feb 17 '18 at 13:03
  • @JusticeNelson In this case it sounds like a bad wheel or axle bearing that you drove around with for waaaaay too long. Are you sure you really didn't hear any strange sounds from the car in the last weeks before the smoke appeared? – MadMarky Mar 9 '18 at 11:14

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