My son-in-law has a 2000 Suburban. We replaced all 4 rotors and pads as well as the left rear caliper. The caliper was replaced because upon completion of the initial brake job during the test drive the left rear got super hot (smoking). Replacing the caliper and bled the brakes at the wheels and at the ABS module. This cleared the ABS and Brake warning lights but when we test drove again the left side brakes are significantly hotter than the right side. The test drive was 3 miles after which an IR thermometer reading of the rotors showed:

LF: 165 (degrees F) LR: 280 RF: 142 RR: 175

So it seems there is an imbalance here and not sure exactly what would cause this. The brake pedal has good stopping feel but in comparison to other vehicles it seems spongy (goes all the way to the floor when engine running and "panic" stop pressure applied). Any ideas on where to go next? The 280 degrees LR rotor is just starting to smell hot and it makes a rhythmic rubbing sound when driving so I am sure the pad is being continuously applied (even if just slightly).

  • That's old enough the slave cylinder might be a little rusty and not fully releasing. You could carefully pull back the rubber cover and make sure it's not dirty or rusty where it slides into the caliper. Another issue I've had is sticky caliper slides, which produce a similar effect. While it's not recommended, I cleaned all the grease from my caliper slides and instead used a light oil, which worked fantastically. Other than that, it could be a bubble in the brake system. Bleed them again, and maybe look up videos of other ways just to make sure it's being done right on that specific car Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 13:32
  • If you put ceramic pads on the Suburban, it is VERY common for ceramic pads to smoke when first used (I mean really used). I've seen it happen on many different pad brands over the years. Once cooled down from the first smoke, they never seem to smoke again. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 17:09
  • So... Not sure what @the_storyteller meant by " the slave cylinder might be a little rusty". The caliper? It was replaced. The caliper slides are brand new and move very freely so I don't think that is it. I will try to re-bleed the brakes from the master cylinder, to the ABS module and then the wheels.
    – Hutsko
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 20:04
  • @PeterSmith they are not ceramic and it is only one wheel that is getting super hot enough to smoke....
    – Hutsko
    Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 20:05
  • @Hutsko, the slave cylinder is the piston thing in the caliper. If it's new, clean, and moves freely, then that's not the problem. Commented Apr 18, 2019 at 23:09


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