Spoiler alert: Things get really hot.
Okay all you shade-tree tire killers out there, time to pay attention. The next time you decide to rip a big burnout in your older rear-wheel-drive monster, keep this video in mind. You’re not just atomizing rubber, and that smoke might not be entirely from the tires. Garage 54 on YouTube offers up this rather sobering look at what happens to the rear brakes when you punch the gas and the brake pedal simultaneously, as you would for a massive burnout.
Admittedly, most burnouts don’t last quite as long as this video. After a rather lengthy intro that includes – oddly enough – a discussion about studded snow tires, the action picks up at 3:45 and continues until 6:30, when our videographer discovers the caliper is actually on fire. Also, we’re assuming the video included a few jump cuts, so it’s quite likely the actual time is even longer. Still, it’s a fascinating look at just how hot the brakes can get after just a couple minutes of abuse.
Gallery: Hot Brakes Experiment
We find out at the end of the video that the goal was to actually cause these rotors to fracture from the heat. That doesn’t happen despite the discs getting hot enough to glow a spine-tingling shade of Day-Glo yellow. However, the heat does completely destroy all the seals in the caliper and even causes the slider pins for the brake pads to warp. We don’t know the exact temperature these brakes hit, but getting the steel slider pins hot enough to bend under pressure likely means it was well over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s a good thing this Mercedes-Benz was slated for all-new brakes anyway.
Granted, a 30-second burnout wouldn’t get brakes this hot, but we’ll certainly be thinking about this video the next time we feel the urge for a good, satisfying smoke. That is, unless the car we’re driving has line-lock which only clamps the front brakes. In that case, kiss the tires goodbye.
Source: Garage 54 ENG via YouTube