Why Do My New Brakes Smell Like Burning Rubber?

If you’re experiencing burning rubber smells from your brakes, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. The smell can be a sign that your brake pads are wearing down and need to be replaced. 

Brake fluid may also start smelling bad if it’s contaminated with sulfur or other chemicals. To prevent the smell from continuing, make sure to keep your brake pads clean and replace any worn parts as needed. 

You can try using a degreaser on clogged-up brakes before replacing the pads or fluids, but always consult a professional for more help in case of serious issues. 

If the problem persists after following these steps, bring your car in for inspection by an expert mechanic.

Why Do My New Brakes Smell Like Burning Rubber

If your new brakes smell like burning rubber, there is likely a problem with the seal between the pad and rotor. 

This can happen if the brake fluid isn’t correctly maintained or if there’s an issue with the braking system itself. In either case, you’ll need to take your car in for repairs.

Fluid Inside Them Is Boiling

If you’ve just bought new brakes, and they smell like burning hair, there’s a good chance that the fluid inside them is boiling.

Brakes May Be Overheated

If your brakes are emitting a burning rubber smell, it may be because they’ve become overheated. When brake pads reach temperatures above 185 degrees Fahrenheit, they can start to release compounds that cause the odor. 

This issue usually occurs when there is an excessive amount of stopping or slowdowns in a short period of time.

Brake Pads Are Fading

Brake pads come with a limited life span and if they’re not replaced regularly, the friction material will wear down and create that strange rubber smell. 

In addition, brake dust can also build up on the pads and reduce their effectiveness over time.

Caliper Rotor Problems

A caliper rotor problem can also lead to that same smelly braking situation – as the rotors stop working properly, they won’t generate enough heat to dissipate from the pad surface which then causes them to emit an unpleasant odor


One of the most common causes of brake smell is a leaking caliper or rotor. This can cause air to seep into the pads and create that burning rubber smell. 

In addition, if your brakes are worn out or damaged, they may also produce this scent.

Brake fluid residue

If you recently replaced your brakes, there is a good chance that some residual brake fluid was left on the rotors and discs. Over time, this fluid will oxidize and form that unpleasant-smelling compound called tar oil.


If your new brakes have been exposed to moisture or other corrosive elements, they may start to corrode and emit that distinctive brake smell.

Common Maintenance Tips on Brakes of a Vehicle

If you’re like most drivers, your brakes are probably among the first things to go when your car starts to wear down. 

And while every brake system will need regular maintenance, following these tips can help keep them in good working order:

Check Brake Fluid Level

It is important to check the brake fluid level every time you do a tune-up or service on your car. If the fluid level gets too low, it can cause your brakes to stop working properly.

Brake fluid is a critical component of your braking system and it needs to be replaced when necessary. This fluid is designed to help the brake pads stop the car from moving.

Check Brakes

When you’re having trouble with your brakes, make sure that they are properly aligned and working by checking them out with a caliper gauge. 

If there’s any visible damage, have it fixed before continuing on with the repair process.

Adjusting Brakes

If your brakes feel spongy or if they don’t seem to work as well as they used to, you may need to adjust them using an adjustable wrench or pliers. 

Do this by turning the adjustment nut until you reach the desired level of stopping power for your vehicle.

Keep Your Brakes System Clean

Keeping your wheels clean and lubricated will help reduce wear and tear on both yours and your braking system’s components over time. 


Is It Normal for Brakes to Smell Burnt When New?

This is a very common problem in new cars, which has baffled mechanics and car enthusiasts alike.

How Long Should New Brakes Smell For?

It is normal for new brakes to smell for an hour or two after installation.

Can Brakes Catch Fire?         

Yes, they catch fire because of a combination of over-heating and under-cooling.

What Does Burning Brakes Smell Like?

Burning brakes generally smell like burning hair.

Should Brake Pads Be Loose in Caliper?

No, the brake pads can’t be loose in caliper. The brake pad should fit perfectly in the caliper.

To Recap

If you have recently replaced your brake pads, there is a good chance they may smell like burning rubber. The reason for the odor is because of the chemicals used to make the brakes work properly otherwise you need to troubleshoot.

You can try spraying some baking soda on the pads and discarding them after a few days if this doesn’t work. 

If you notice that your car has been braking heavily lately, it might be time to replace all of your brake pads at once in order to prevent further damage and stinky shoes. 

Make sure to consult with an expert if you have any questions about replacing or servicing your brakes- they will know what needs to be done in order for them to function optimally.

Leave a Comment