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Answered 2015-07-17 17:47:57
wikimar 04-18-07My experience with my 91' base model GEO Metro, with the front wheels extremely hot (and a smell that reminded me of metal shop) was due to a malfunction in the master cylinder, which did cause the calipers to seize (front-brakes stuck on).

This could have been caused by a blocked port, or stuck valve in the master-cylinder. The fluid was considerably dirty (cloudy-brown). I replaced the master-cylinder, and completely flushed, and bled the brake system to correct the problem.

You should also check the condition of the brake-pads and surfaces (drums & rotors), as well as the actuating cylinders for heat damage (blue or "rain-bow" coloring on the shiny metal surfaces=heat-stress). If heat damage is indicated check with a reputable service center to see if the parts can be resurfaced, or if molecular damage has occurred and requires replacement of the affected drums and rotors.

If you have little or no brake lining left, this may have caused the slave-cylinders to "run-out" past the normal range. This may also be evident by a damp or wet appearance (brake-fluid has leaked), and the breach in the seals can introduce dirt and/or water, and air into the system, as well as lowering the amount of brake-fluid available, which likely led to the failure of my master-cylinder.

Some indications of stuck brakes:You may notice a softer or less responsive brake-pedal (air, or contamination in the system), engine temperature running higher (due to increased load), a low level of brake fluid in the reservoir, poor fuel-mileage, and harder shifting (manual or automatic), or otherwise feeling a loss in power as though you were going up a steep hill (when your not). And that hot metal smell I mentioned, and the hot to touch you mentioned; indicates the brakes are not fully releasing when your foot is off the brake-pedal. If you are leaving your foot on the brake-pedal (even lightly) this is called "riding the brakes", and will cause excess heat and wear, along with reduced fuel-mileage, and adds extra load to the engine and transmission...the remedy for this however is free! Take your foot completely off the braked-pedal while you are driving!

Not changing the brakes before they reach below manufacturer's minimum lining thickness...is not only dangerous (you may not stop in time in an emergency)...it also can cause many more problems (time & expense) later on. This is true for any routine maintenance standards.

Heavy braking. suspension so weak it is forcing the calipers to squeeze onto the rotors. But most likely the calipers are seized or the last time the pads were changed, they weren't installed professionally. That is doing the little things like using the correct hi temp grease, cleaning surfaces that should move, etc.

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