Brake Problem

Hello,
I have owned a Ford Escort Wagon and now a Ford Taurus Wagon.
Here is the problem that I have:
Both vehicles when going down a steep type of mountain hill for about
10-20 minutes, the brakes would smell really bad and the I would not have good brakes. I pulled over for 5-10 minutes and it seems the brakes went back to normal. This happened with both cars. I use the brakes normally down the hill. I took it to a mechanic who told me that the brake fluid heats up and then when I wait for 5-10 minutes it cools down. Does anyone know what could be happening here?
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Your brakes are overheating. When you use your brakes, you convert the kinetic energy of the car's motion into heat. The heat builds up in the brakes. Use a lower gear. This will let the engine do the braking, so your brakes don't heat up as much.
Jeff
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