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Old 06-09-2011, 07:59 PM
 
249 posts, read 875,611 times
Reputation: 133

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I'm selling my car, basically for scrap, but I need to get one more week out of it. My brakes have been making some noise for awhile, but about three days ago the noise got much worse a grinding noise that made pretty clear that they were metal to metal. I was determined not to spend any more money on my car, but it got to the point where I felt it may be dangerous and it just was not worth saving a few dollars.

My question is what would happen if a car would have continued to be driven in that condition ? I know the rotors would wear out, but then what ? My car still was stopping ok if wore ear plugs. At what point does it truly become dangerous if you don't care about wearing out components or getting dirty looks.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:10 PM
 
11,473 posts, read 49,626,665 times
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Depending upon your car make/model, the noise you are hearing may not actually be the brake rotors/pads making metal-to-metal contact, but a pad wear indicator that is a strip of metal which does rub up against the rotor, hence making the noise which alerts you that the brakes need servicing. The wear indicator starts sounding off before the brakes are completely toast ....

So, it is entirely possible that you have a few days worth of safe ... if noisy ... service life left in your car.

If you don't know what you are looking at, then you should have a shop look at the situation and advise if your brake pads are, in fact, metal to metal at this time or not.

Of course, if they are metal to metal, then it's not safe to drive this car without repairs.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:02 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
38,006 posts, read 68,717,587 times
Reputation: 45053
A friend ignored this problem on his, and while crossing the bridge the front wheel caught on fire from the heat of the metal on metal. Burned up the tire and inside fender well, and plastic around the radiator before he got it out. It
will still stop though.

Carry an extinguisher if you drive it. You'r probably already looking at $600
for new brake pads and rotors installed with new bearings since that extra heat melts out the grease.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:35 PM
 
249 posts, read 875,611 times
Reputation: 133
Thanks for the replies, sorry if I did not make myself clear I have had the work done. I bought a pair of pads for about $30 and had a friend put them on. I'm sure It needs rotors, but I'm selling the car for $500 to a guy that owns a junkyard so I just need to make till next week end.

My question was more of a hypothetical what would eventually happen if the continued to be driven. So from one of the answers above would eventual brake failure most likely be due to excessive heat ?

Last edited by witton; 06-09-2011 at 09:47 PM..
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:19 AM
 
Location: trondheim norway
143 posts, read 706,250 times
Reputation: 97
yes, and the heat will make the brakefluid boil, when that happens,its loosing its consistens and fail.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:27 AM
 
861 posts, read 2,657,815 times
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I have seen people drive until the backing plate of the brake pad is so thin it actually lets the piston fall out of the caliber. At that point you lose all the fluid to the that end of the car and braking becomes just a bit of a problem.

I'm guessing you have worn away the pad material and you are now grinding the rivets or backing plate into the rotor. It should still stop but you could get all kinds of brake lock, fade, pull to one side etc. If you HAVE TO drive it then go ahead but I would be extremely careful.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,924 posts, read 73,208,393 times
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What can happen? Lots of things:

Your rotors can break. The pad backing can wear out or wear unevenly and suddenly you cannot stop. Not gradually, but just all of a sudden. The excessive vibration can lead to failure of suspension parts (tie rods ends, control joints, etc).

You cna crash into a tree or another car and fly through the windshield only to land on your head and break your neck while wishing that you had your seatblet on, and wishing that you had repaired the brakes.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,997 posts, read 52,005,821 times
Reputation: 16024
Quote:
Originally Posted by witton View Post
Thanks for the replies, sorry if I did not make myself clear I have had the work done. I bought a pair of pads for about $30 and had a friend put them on. I'm sure It needs rotors, but I'm selling the car for $500 to a guy that owns a junkyard so I just need to make till next week end.

My question was more of a hypothetical what would eventually happen if the continued to be driven. So from one of the answers above would eventual brake failure most likely be due to excessive heat ?
I'm assuming the junkyard guy wants the car as a car, $500 is a lot for a parts car, unless it's something popular like an old Mustang or Camaro.

I guess you are getting a different car, or are moving into a situation where you won't own a car?

What is this thing anyway? You in rust country or not?
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