When the driver of a rear wheel drive vehicle decides to show off the torque of his engine by breaking the rear tires' traction with the ground and spinning them in place, by holding the brakes, usually for the purpose of making a large cloud of smoke. Also referred to as brakestand
and roastin' 'em
. This is also how drag vehicles on slicks gain additional traction, the burnout heats the tires up and this causes them to bite into the pavement harder. Users of street tires will not notice any major benefit, so this is useless to streetcars.
Another variant uses no brake application, it is done by drivers of less powerful RWD cars that would otherwise stall. Sometimes called a one-wheel peel, because only one wheel spins. Front wheel drive vehicles do this version because they are, um, FWD, and can't brakestand. This is typically called a peelout instead of a burnout, but some powerful muscle cars can successfully do a proper, smokey burnout while moving forward.
Vehicles with rims over 25" in diameter may not posess enough torque to burn out without breaking something. This means those of you with Donk'ed out vehicles need not apply. Rims with thin spokes and large diameters are too weak to take the stresses and their hubs may rip out. They may also bend and/or otherwise be damaged.
The only real legit time to do it on the street is if the vehicle is spinning out, and only to prevent the engine from taking damage when being spun backwards and to scrub off some speed, lessening the severity and chances of an impact.
Ricers have been known to attempt a 'brakestand' by using their parking brake to hold the car still. While this has the same effect, it isn't a true brakestand.
Man, that old truck ain't as shitty as I thought it was. Did you see that massive burnout it did? It's only got a six cylinder too...Damn, man.
Heh, that Ricer just attempted a burnout. Silly FWD.
I like this car. When you burn out, the smoke comes from the correct end of the car.
That burnout fails horribly. One wheel peels suck balls!