Causes and Prevention of Disc Brakes Getting Hot On One Side

Regularly maintaining your brakes is highly recommended for all car owners. You should learn to pay attention to some signs that your brakes are bad.

For instance, if your disc brakes getting hot on one side, it is a sign of the brake system malfunction. We recommend you park your car and seek professional help.

This article will teach you all you need to know about disc brake overheating. We will look at the causes, prevention, and much more.

one brake disc getting very hot

Causes of Disc Brakes Getting Hot On One Side

When you have one brake disc getting very hot, this could be caused by mechanical issues with the wheel. A significant cause could be a problem with the calipers.

Causes include when the caliper isn’t placed correctly or is sticking out, thereby increasing friction and causing the brakes getting hot on one side.

Other causes of one brake disc hotter than the other include the following:

1. Collapsing brake hose

The entire braking system, especially the hydraulic brakes, relies on brake fluid.

A brake hose helps transport these fluids from the brake pipes within the vehicle to the brake caliper. Once the hose collapse or becomes damaged, less lubricant gets to the brake system. Thus, brake pads don’t fit in caliper properly and it could also be a probable cause of internal heat, which is why your brakes getting hot.

2. Bad wheel bearing

The wheel bearing is an integral part of the wheel assembly. It links the wheel to the axle. When the wheel bearing fails, two things could happen: the wheel could either stop the wheel you are driving or fall off.

When the wheel bearing is bad, it affects a large part of the wheel, and during braking, it could cause a lot of strain on the caliper. It could cause heat to build up.

3. Failing brake pad

Another major cause of your brake disc getting hot on one side could be a damaged brake pad. Brake pads that are not installed properly or begin to slip at the position could create friction where they should not, even when the brakes are not applied.

4. Deformed Brake Disc

Another factor that could make front disc brakes getting hot and not others or lug nuts hot after driving is a deformed or warped brake disc. It is when the flat outer area of the disc becomes uneven.

A deformed brake disc could be caused by continuously glazing the disc with the brake rotor. Once this happens, many hits can be generated and cause one side of the disc to get extremely hot.

5. Using expired brake discs and pads

If you do not know this, your brake pad and brake disc have a limited use time. They are not one of those parts of the vehicle that you could use for an extended period; they need to be replaced.

For instance, when installed, the brake pad begins to immediately experience wear because it is continuously pressed on the disc’s surface. It gets to an extent when it becomes completely worn out and needs to be changed.

If you refuse to change the brake pad after being completely exhausted, you have a metal plate rubbing against the disc. It could cause a lot of friction and heat to generate.   

How To Prevent Brake Discs Overheating?

The best way to prevent your brake discs from overheating is to check the general condition of the brake system periodically. Do a check on factors like the brake pad, brake hose, caliper, and more to ensure that they are working perfectly.

You could also follow the tips below to prevent overheating brake discs.

1. Avoid sudden or harsh braking; apply modest pressure to slow down gradually.

2. Replace your vehicle’s brake parts like pads, rotors, and shoes when due.

3. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles to avoid sudden or harsh braking.

4. Use only the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) when replacing brake parts.

5. Use professional brake service from a reputable auto service provider.

Also, ensure that you check your brake fluid as regularly as possible. You can do this by locating the brake fluid reservoir under the hood. You could use your vehicle’s manual if you cannot find it.

Once you have found the reservoir, check the fluid level against the maximum and minimum line on the reservoir. If the fluid is on or below the minimum line, please top it up.

Can Brakes Stop Working When Overheating?

Overheating could cause your brakes to stop working, and here is how. Heat is caused by increased friction within the system, which is already a problem. When the heat generated is too much, it can boil up the brake fluid, causing it to damage other non-metallic parts of the brake system.

In addition, overheating could cause leaks in the brake system, which could reduce hydraulic pressure whenever you apply the brakes. Also, remember that losing brake fluid is bad for your vehicle.

Do Overheated Brakes Need To Be Replaced?

An overheated brake shows that something is wrong with the brake system. It could be a damaged caliper, worn-out or displaced brake, or brake disc.

When you notice that you have overheated brakes, the best thing to do is pull over and not drive. Remember, overheated brakes can cause brake failure. Once you can securely park your vehicle, try and get it towed.

Ensure that a proper replacement of damaged parts of the brake is done. If you do not have good mechanical knowledge, you can also have a professional help you with the fix.


As a car owner, it is essential to know how hot do brakes get and what causes them to get hot. Knowing this will give you an insight into how to fix the problem if it eventually comes up correctly. If you have good mechanical knowledge, it would be easier for you to fix the problem yourself.

Akindayini Temiloluwa

I am Akindayini Temiloluwa, an automotive expert writer and car enthusiast. I have over three years of experience in the automotive writing niche and have completed over 300 pieces of content from 50 projects. I have vast knowledge and skill in vehicle repairing, all mechanical work, car upgrades and maintenance. My goal as an automotive content writer is to simplify the most challenging concepts for my readers, help them self-diagnose what may be wrong with their vehicles and offer real value for their time.

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