Brake rotor temperature

Cody Diagnostician Illinois Posted   Latest  
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Braking
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ 5.3L (C L83) 6-spd (6L80) — 3GCUKSEC4EG334111

Hey guys I did some searching on here and I found a brake drum temperature post but I couldn't find a brake rotor temperature information. 

Right now we are dealing with a brake noise concern.

We test drove the vehicle several times under several different braking scenarios and could not reproduce the noise.

After some serious braking we finally got it to make noise, we measured the brake rotors and all 4 rotors were at around 500 F give or take 15 degrees. The noise is coming from the rear, which we cleaned and lubricated the slides and caliper bracket due to the pads sticking in the bracket when we replaced the front.

We replaced the front pads and rotor around 1 month ago.

This customer drives around 3000 miles a month and pulls a trailer frequently.

The customer claims there was no noise before we replaced the front pads and rotors.

My question is how hot is too hot for a brake rotor.

I'm thinking 500 F is too hot but all 4 rotors were pretty close in temperature.

Thanks in advance.

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Elias Owner/Technician
California
Elias Default
 

Cody, what type/brand brake pad did you use? I suggest genuine brake pads, not ac delco professional or anything similar but the actual oe pads. As far as temp I dont really know if thats too hot. Seems on the higher side, but generally dont take that measurement.

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Default
 

The noise is coming from the rear brakes. We only cleaned and lubricated the rear brakes due to the pads being around 50% life. The front pads and rotors were replaced with adaptive one pads and napa premium rotors.

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Douglas Mobile Technician
Texas
Douglas Default
   

OE pads and rotors for that truck. Gets rid of the noise and you can sleep at night. 500 degrees isn't really too hot. The fact that you said it was that temp all around tells me it's a pad and rotor issue.

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Curtis Mechanic
Florida
Curtis Default
 

Hey cody, we've had similar issues favorable to the scenario in our fleet, because it the quality of the products offered now (get the drift), we do a simple cross cut pattern on ne pads with a right angled die grinder, just bump it across pads n different angles , then go set pads on rotors u know go about 25 mph and come to a slow steady stop about 3 times

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Rickey Analyst
Ohio
Rickey Default
 

392 degrees Fahrenheit During normal street use

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Dien Owner/Technician
Oklahoma
Dien Default
 

I would suggest redoing the brake job with ceramic pads. Also apply BG Stop Squeal onto the brake pads. Resurface the rotors if within specs and wash rotors before installing.

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Default
 

We use permatex purple or orange grease with all of our brake jobs.

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Andrew Educator
Ohio
Andrew Default
 

Check the leaf spring on that side. Had a similar case with a 2011 and brake noise, also see TSB …L. The spring only made a noise under aggressive braking when the nose dives and the brakes are applied. Powerwashed it and shot some grease between the leaves. Could also be the parking brake shoe. I would not trust rotor temperatures, IR thermometers are inaccurate. But, you can use…

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Default
 

interesting, I will look into this further tomorrow.

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David Owner/Technician
Alberta
David Default
 

Looking for a specific temperature is almost nebulous. Each vehicle has its own characteristics in that sense as rotor and drum size varies a lot. They are simple heat generators changing the energy of momentum to heat. Some race car rotors are normal to get up to red hot temperatures, over 1000 degrees. As long as the fluid does not boil and the rotors or drums don't distort or wear too much…

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Default
 

We've had several training classes at federal mogul and affinia for brakes back in the day. We always clean and lubricate the slides and caliper bracket and replace abutement clips. we clean off the hub surface and apply a little grease to the piston surface and the caliper where it contacts the pad. Thanks for the input, we are always trying to find new methods to help us diagnose problems.

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Rusty Owner/Technician
Massachusetts
Rusty Default
 

You have already gotten great advice I’ll add that brakes convert motion into heat. The more you reduce motion (braking action) the more heat you generate. Equal heat all around is a good thing.

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Jürgen Owner
Mexico
Jürgen Default
 

Hi, not related to the topic but here is my question: You're profile picture features a BMW Isetta?

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Rusty Owner/Technician
Massachusetts
Rusty Default
 

Yes. It was a friends car that I did some work on. Since then it was sold to a collector

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Tyler Technician
Kansas
Tyler Default
 

How hot is too hot? It depends. Mostly on the nut behind the wheel, lol. I have some general rules of thumb I play by, but they're by no means a 'specification'. Rotor temps have too many variables to start nitpicking a few degrees here or there, IMO. On a normal passenger car or SUV, after a test drive that includes a highway offramp, I expect the rotors to be in the 150-250 degree range…

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Default
 

No trailer. Just an extended amount of time in side roads with a lot of stop signs

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Eric Owner/Technician
Wisconsin
Eric Default
   

In my experience 500 degrees F is too hot for brakes under normal conditions. Even when used hard that is too high of a temperature. I take test drives on all the brake repairs I do. After a normal test drive to seat the brakes I find temperatures of around 150 degrees F. I use my thermal camera to view the temperatures. The only time I have seen temperatures around 500 degrees F is when there…

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Hollis Technician
Colorado
Hollis Default
 

Now that you've freed up the pads by cleaning and lubing the caliper bracket, the spring loaded hardware designed to minimize movement and reduce vibrations has weakened over time and when heated to a certain point, the sweet spot, they'll squeal. There are a lot of other contributing factors, age, use, loading, types and conditions of friction materials, heat changes those characteristics…

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Travis Educator
Utah
Travis Default
 

If the vehicle has quite a few miles, like 100 000+, i suggest replacing the caliper piston seals or install new cslipers. The seals pull the piston back when the hydraulic pressure is released. When they get old, they don't pull the piston back very well. It causes rotors to get hot and get hotter while driving without braking and then the rotor warps and causes the noise. Good luck.

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Bill Diagnostician
Pennsylvania
Bill Default
 

I have been using raytech gun on rotors and drums for over ten years. Normally after a one to two mile trip I see rear drums around 120-160. Rear rotors usually go about 150-220. Fronts are usually hotter at 200-250. In cases of noise concerns after more like ten miles of hard braking 350-400 in front is still normal. Anything over that and I usually look for other problems. Side to side is also…

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Jürgen Owner
Mexico
Jürgen Default
 

How does the contact surface of the pads look like? Although technology has come a long way, when overheated some of the glued/sintered compound material spreads to the surface giving it that typical crystallized shining.

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Mike Technician
Kansas
Mike Default
 

Just asking, they pull a trailer around does that trailer have brakes , do they work , is the trailer over loaded , are they raceing up to stop signs , or trying to stop in a short amount of space . May have to go with a after market pads and roters made for heavy duty. LIke others said make sure cal move and stated grease them . Maybe have them come by shop with truck and trailer on . Go with…

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Default
 

i'm pretty sure the customer's trailer doesn't have trailer brakes. I know they drive alot and the noise is with or without pulling the trailer. We made sure the slides were cleaned and greased properly. We did do an basic inspection(fluid levels, belts, hoses, steering and suspension).

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Cody Diagnostician
Illinois
Cody Delay
 

Thanks for all the replies. The customer travels a lot and did not have much time to leave it with us to check further. He mainly wanted us to make sure it was all installed correctly and safe.

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