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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made the mistake of letting the car sit for a few days after washing it and now the caliper seems to be rusted to the rotor. I never use the parking brake so I don't think that's the problem. This has happened before and I've been able to pop it free in reverse but this time it's frozen pretty good. I'm planning on replacing the calipers rotors and pads in the near future but in the short term I've got to be able to move the car. Any ideas on how I can get the brakes safely broken free?
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

99% it's STILL the E brakes rusted more probably the cable(s)<br>If the car is more than 8 years old and is from the Northeast, NEVER use the parking brakes if possible (period).<br>The probability is one or both the cables are rusted and an E Brake shoe is delaminating
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (JRL)

this happened to my car before i owned it. my mom took it out and hit up the carwash on the way home. it was winter so she jsut pulled it in the garage and let it sit. after all attempts to free it it wouldnt come un-stuck. started the car and then started rockin it lightly to get some play then i timed it right when the car was headed back again an backed out. it will break free but your a** end will be pretty high in the air if it was stuck like mine. just like i was told just put it in reverse and have at it. idk if this is the smartest idea but its a though haha
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

With my cars it has typically been one of the rear calipers that has gotten stuck. I have never had a situation where putting the car in reverse and giving it some gas didn't unstick it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (Wayne T5)

That was true for me as well....until today... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vortexmediagroup.com/images/banghead.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (JRL)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>JRL</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">99% it's STILL the E brakes rusted more probably the cable(s)<br>If the car is more than 8 years old and is from the Northeast <B><I>and you never, ever wash the underside of your car</I></B> , NEVER use the parking brakes if possible (period).</TD></TR></TABLE><p>Fixed that for you, Jim. My experience (one set of e-brake shoes and cables in five years of New England driving during which I use the e-brake daily) would seem to make this statement a little over-cautionary.<p>I agree with Jim that this sounds like a seized e-brake. Try the rocking thing and don't be afraid to get aggressive.
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (t5mmmm)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>t5mmmm</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>Fixed that for you, Jim. <p>I agree with Jim that this sounds like a seized e-brake. Try the rocking thing and don't be afraid to get aggressive. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>No No No <I>do not fix</I><br>I ALWAYS wash the underside in the winter to keep the salt off.<br>It then goes into a heated garage at least overnight
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>volvdog</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">That was true for me as well....until today... <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vortexmediagroup.com/images/banghead.gif" BORDER="0"> </TD></TR></TABLE><p>If it was my car I would jack each wheel up to isolate which one is seized and then try to remove the caliper. In the process I would probably tap the rotor lightly with a hammer or rubber mallet to separate the pad from the rotor. This is probably the wrong way to approach it but it's what I would do.
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (Wayne T5)

Yeah, I just put it gear and back up. It always releases. I also never use the parking brake except as a last resort...like if I have my boat trailer in the water and I need to put the car in park and get out of the car...then. Otherwise never. I have had too many issues with parking brakes here in the North Country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (mgc)

Thanks for the advice everyone. Got it popped free today. Time to replace the calipers and rotors anyway...
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

So -was it the eBrake?<p>It's physically impossible for a caliper to seize to the rotor -since the two never contact each other - it is however possible for a caliper to seize, and prevent the pad from retracting - is that what in fact happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (lookforjoe)

Not sure. It broke free but I can still hear the pad dragging on the rear rotor (can't really tell which side) when I'm driving the car. I find it difficult to believe that it's the E-brake since I never use it. Just ordered the parts for a complete front and rear brake job, calipers, rotors, pads and E-brake pads and other installation parts. You are right that the caliper cannot rust to the rotor (I mis-spoke in my original post), it's probably an issue of a caliper piston seizing (not retracting) keeping the pad pressed against the rotor.
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

You forgot the CABLES, they are the first item to rust away
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>volvdog</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Thanks for the advice everyone. Got it popped free today. Time to replace the calipers and rotors anyway...</TD></TR></TABLE><p>We should have NE Calipers Replacement Day as I need to replace calipers on one car and rotors/pads on two <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vortexmediagroup.com/images/banghead.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>volvdog</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">Not sure. It broke free but I can still hear the pad dragging on the rear rotor (can't really tell which side) when I'm driving the car. <B>I find it difficult to believe that it's the E-brake since I never use it.</B> Just ordered the parts for a complete front and rear brake job, calipers, rotors, pads and E-brake pads and other installation parts. You are right that the caliper cannot rust to the rotor (I mis-spoke in my original post), it's probably an issue of a caliper piston seizing (not retracting) keeping the pad pressed against the rotor.</TD></TR></TABLE><p>There are a number of tales on the interwebs of disintegrating e brakes shoes<br>reminding their owners ( often in remarkably dramatic ways! ) of their existence.<p>The suggestion above of lifting the rear of the car and checking how freely<br>those wheels spin was spot on and an excellent beginning for your diagnosis.<br>It's well worth a look - Best of luck ! <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: frozen brake caliper(s) (volvdog)

A dragging caliper would cause heat bluing of the rotor surface -- very easy to spot.
 
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