View Full Version : Engine Overheat Brake Caliper??

05-21-07, 11:39 AM
Could it be possible that a slightly dragging rear brake caliper cause an engine overheat?

Has it ever been reported on this forum?

Driving in Ozark hills (we call them Mountains 1550 ft) I experienced " Engine Coolant Hot " warning twice.

N* is a very tough engine and I hate to blame headgaskets at every overheat.

I have come to the belief that all of todays' cars are engineered and built with very little if any cooling reserve.

So my question really is Could a combination of Speed 60MPH, big HILLS plus a slightly dragging L rear brake caliper cause the N* to overheat? Are there any real life examples to lend credence to my situation?


05-21-07, 12:53 PM
No -- any cooling system in good shape should have the capacity to handle that. If the engine overheated under those severe conditions, it could be that your radiator is partially plugged, your thermostat is not opening fully, you have a cooling system hose collapsing, etc. Also don't overlook the coolant temperature sensor/switch. It could be faulty.

Summer mountain driving brings arduous conditions, but these cars (as most cars are) are tested under severe desert heat under 120 degree ambient temperatures. Your car should have plenty of cooling system capacity to handle 80s and 90s in the Ozarks.

05-21-07, 08:21 PM
A dragging brake will cause extra load on the engine, but it should not be enough to cause the engine to overheat.

Todays cooling systems are not what they used to be. They are smaller with less capacity, but as Jadcock said, they are tested under worse conditions than you mentioned and should stand up to it if well maintained. Have you ever cleaned the bugs and dirt out of the condenser?

05-21-07, 08:59 PM
GM cooling systems are engineered to cool the engine on a 100 degree day at 100MPH with a 100MPH following wind. I saw this parameter published years ago. Maybe it's different today.

05-21-07, 09:53 PM
..and I'd be concerned about the "slightly dragging rear caliper" while you're at it. One does not want red-hot components glowing away in close proximity to the fuel tank....