2002 Ford Expedition XLT v8 4.6. Recent had to replace wheel axle do to running up a curb. After the axle was fixed I drove the car for about 15 minutes and it smelt like something was burning the rim was extremely hot to touch and I did notice a grinding sound like metal grinding metal while driving and braking. Didn't have this issue prior to the accident. I tried replacing the caliper and learned that was not the fix. Can someone help me out on what could be the fix

  • 2
    The wheel by itself should not get hot and there is not normally any mechanism in play to heat it up. My first suspicion is the brakes. Is something bent, broken, misaligned in the brake system? Are the pads dragging due to being mis-adjusted? What about the emergency/parking brake? Is it properly connected and adjusted?
    – jwh20
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 20:05
  • Is only one wheel heating up? Is it the wheel on which the axle was replaced? Have you talked to the shop that did the work? Do you know the new axle was installed correctly? When the new caliper was installed, were new pads and rotors fitted? Do you know if the parking brake mechanism is installed correctly and functioning correctly?
    – dwizum
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 20:23
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Clearly you didn't read my comment.
    – jwh20
    Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 22:43
  • @jwh20 - Sorry about that ... you were right. Commented Oct 30, 2019 at 22:48
  • @jwh20 The tire it self not hot but the rim is. The rim where I had to replace the axel Is the only rim that’s getting hot. The axle was installed correct. Because with out it being right I couldn’t even move my car out of gear. I didn’t put new pads and rotors on but I was thinking that could be the problem and I should. But then I read something about maybe the wheel bearing could be the problem. How True can that be Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 16:10

1 Answer 1


This sounds to me like the either the brakes, or the wheel bearings weren't installed properly (wrong size or not greased?)

I'm assuming from the comments about the parking brake that it's a rear wheel. Chock the front wheels, and jack up the back. Support it on axle stands. Release the parking brake, and try to turn the wheel by hand - I suspect it will be very hard (compare with the one on the other side which should spin freely).

Remove the wheel, and visually check that the parking brake has released (again, compare with the other side to see what it should look like) - if that's stuck on then you've got your culprit.

If not, check to see if the service brake is still 'on' - are the pads still tightly gripping the disc? Check the flexi-hose for any sign of bulging or damage (which can make it become a one-way valve and prevent the brakes from releasing).

If there's no sign of problems with the caliper, remove it and try turning the hub by hand - It should spin very freely by hand. if you still can't turn it, then it must be the wheel bearings.

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