The average temperature for a car’s brake calipers when in use can reach up to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius). However, in heavy traffic conditions and constantly stopping and starting, temperatures can rise past these numbers. At this point in time, your vehicle will be much more susceptible to premature component failure and malfunctioning braking systems.
How hot do brake calipers get? It depends on the car.
The biggest factor in how hot brake calipers get is the driver’s style. If the brakes are constantly applied, then they will consistently reach higher temperatures than if they are applied more intermittently or not at all.
A classic example of this would be city driving; it involves lots of stops and starts and therefore produces extremely high heat levels for your vehicle’s braking systems. Driving in stop-and-go traffic or extended periods of time without any use (like waiting behind a line of cars at a red light) can cause brake temperature levels to rise considerably, which can result in serious damage to components like rotors and drums over time.
Because these factors vary by manufacturer, brake calipers can get very different amounts of heat according to the type and model of car you drive. Generally, though, it is safest and most cost- and time-effective to do preventative maintenance on these systems before they fail rather than trying to fix them once they’re already shot.