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Old 12-12-09, 12:18 AM   #1
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help - car cant reverse. back passenger side wheel not moving

hey, not sure if this is the right section....

i've got a 98 (manual) and i park outside...i noticed the past couple days since the weather temp dropped, that on hills the car doesn't roll back as it used to. it rolls a few inches then stops as if i have applied the brakes and i kinda feel the back end move up in the air.


tonight i parked in an underground lot for a short while where it was a little warmer than outside, and when i left i noticed that the car seemed fine and could roll back freely.

anyway, just now i tried to reverse out of a parking spot and the car won't move. the back passenger side wheel won't move at all. when i give it gas (in reverse) the car lifts up on that side, as if it's going over a snow pile but there's nothing there....the tire won't move at all. i gave it enough gas at one point to reverse a bit as the wheel stayed stuck. strange thing is that it will move forward. problem is i can't get out of the spot, i have to reverse....luckily i got a visitor pass so i had to leave it parked there

what can be causing this? is it a stuck ebrake cable?
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Old 12-12-09, 01:30 AM   #2
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Yup, the ebrake cable is stuck. If you can access the bare cable try tucking on it.
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Old 12-12-09, 02:52 PM   #3
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still no luck with the slight warmer temperatures today...the wheel still won't move and i'm still stuck in the visitor spot.

where can i access the cable? sorry my knowledge is pretty much limited to basic tune-ups (spark plugs, oil changes etc).
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Old 13-12-09, 01:57 PM   #4
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there are three spots the brakes can seize. 1. cable inside the jacket 2. shoes to the drum (or backing plate) 3. ebrake mechanism/wheel cylinder

i don't know exactly which of these is most likely to cause a severely locked up wheel, but all you can do is remove the wheel and get behind the backing plate, remove the access cover (rubber grommet) and try to turn back the adjustment wheel. once you have it turned back try getting the drum off. hit it with a hammer to break it loose if you have to. then service the brakes.

alternatively, you can start from the ebrake cable inside the car by removing the access panel to the ebrake cable balance bar (usually behind the rear ashtray in the center console) or just remove the whole console. then see if the pass side cable is loose or tight... remove the jam nut and try to move the cable by hand. if it slides freely then the cable is not the issue and you have to work from the wheel side as outlined above.

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Old 13-12-09, 06:41 PM   #5
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wow thanks for that informative post bbarbulo!

we tried again today and with a bit of gas we got it free...maybe it was the warmer temps today? i don't know. i had the rear brakes done this afternoon since they needed to be changed anyway and the mechanic couldn't find the cause, so i'm guessing just a stuck cable...hopefully i won't have this problem again.

a couple of people were saying not to use the ebrake in winter, just to leave it in gear...is that true?
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Old 13-12-09, 07:06 PM   #6
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i had the same problem and your not going to it, do to the fact that it's water inside the line. for now it's just going to freeze, but give it a month or so and it will be rusted and start cracking. I'd say change it.
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Old 13-12-09, 08:16 PM   #7
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^^ english owns you.

my ebrake cable was messed up a little. it wouldnt move freely, so i disconnected the cable at the calipers [i have rear disks] and unbolted the cables at the ebrake handle. moved them back and fourth several times, noticed that they started sliding much smoother. its been 3 weeks and still no problems.
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Old 14-12-09, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lefty09 View Post
wow thanks for that informative post bbarbulo!

we tried again today and with a bit of gas we got it free...maybe it was the warmer temps today? i don't know. i had the rear brakes done this afternoon since they needed to be changed anyway and the mechanic couldn't find the cause, so i'm guessing just a stuck cable...hopefully i won't have this problem again.

a couple of people were saying not to use the ebrake in winter, just to leave it in gear...is that true?
yes water in the jacket could cause it to freeze and lock up the cable. if it's the cable, you can simply not use the ebrake, or disconnect the pass side cable, so if you must use the ebrake the driver side will still hold a bit. that being said, cables are cheap enough to replace and pretty easy too. the VW in our family seizes up the cables all the time so I keep a spare 'in stock' - i believe if it's on the car it needs to work. if you can't afford a cable, being the economic situation that we're in, then liberally spray WD40 between the ebrake cable jacket and the cable itself, then slide the cable back and forth many times and continue to spray WD40 into it. look for any cracks in the jacket or other points where water could get in. seal these locations with some heavy grease. that will get you through the winter, maybe a bit more.

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Old 17-12-09, 12:14 AM   #9
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Well I haven't been using the ebrake since I had my brakes changed - just in case. All was good until tonight....I went out and noticed it wasn't rolling back freely again (I park on a very slight incline). It was doing the exact same thing as before....rolls back a few inches (slowler than usual) and the car lifts on the right side and stops. However, it is reversing thankfully.

After I ran my errands and got back home and parked, I walked to the wheel to take a look and it smelled really stong, guess it smelled like brakes (dunno?). I touched a lug nut and it was really hot, I thought it burned me actually lol.

Wtf, I had the brakes changed, and haven't been using the ebrake...what can be causing this??

On a side note, when I did the emission test last week the abs light was on. I went in to ask them why, as its never been on before and they told me it sometimes happens because only 2 wheels are moving. They said it would turn off after a short drive, and it did, and hasn't been back on. If it was the abs acting up, would the light come back on?

thanks again everyone!
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Old 17-12-09, 10:18 AM   #10
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maybe you have a siezed caliper or drum. you did say it happened again with the e brake not engaged correct? Your car actually does use all brakes to stop, moreso in the front. I would assume that maybe if you had a siezed caliper or drum that they would engage the rear brakes when you stopped to park the car.

on another note. the ABS light will come on usually when your rear wheels are stopped and you have two wheels turning for an extended period of time. It usually goes away when you drive and all wheels turn together at the same speed. But you already know that. Only other reason for an ABS light to come on if not for that reason would be if you had a faulty abs sensor. Someone correct me if im wrong.
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Old 17-12-09, 10:26 AM   #11
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ABS is not the cause of your problems. you need a competent mechanic. wheel cylinder could be seizing up, or again the shoes to the backing plate. actually, the adjustment mechanism might be acting up too (damaged).

ABS doesn't apply pressure to the brakes, you need to hit the pedal for the system to get pressure. It figures out when the car is skidding by monitoring each wheel speed, when you do the e-test, the rear wheels are not moving for a while -> hence ABS light, it thinks there is something wrong with the sensor output.
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Old 17-12-09, 10:30 AM   #12
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my guess is rear drum cylinder is not working properly. Cylinder gets its power from the hydrolic pressure from when you step on the breaks regardless of pulling the hand break. I have the same problem on my rear passenger side. Only acts up when i pull the handbreak. cylinders are like $20 also going to change the hardware & breaks as its pretty old. Adding the WD40 and the grease are very good tips and going to try it as well.
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Old 17-12-09, 12:12 PM   #13
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thanks for the clarification about the abs. my hardware still looked good so we didn't end up using the pack i bought.

s&f, where can i find wheel cylinders for $20? i forget where, but some store told me it was over $100.


i'll be taking it in to the mechanic today, i'll keep you all posted.
thanks again for all the help everyone, much appreciated!
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Old 17-12-09, 09:14 PM   #14
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well i just came back from the mechanic. it's the ebrake cable. we jacked that side and pulled up the ebrake handle then released it, and sure enough the tire wouldn't spin freely.

partsource is quoting $79 for the right side, does anyone know of a cheaper place?
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Old 18-12-09, 12:03 AM   #15
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check ebay.ca - i see cheap chinese parts on there all the time. it's just an ebrake cable, so on a daily driven car i'd rock the cheap china isht. there are dealers on ebay that are in the GTA, so you might arrange pickup.

also, check kijiji, i recall seeing ads for shops selling REALLY cheap parts brand new (also chinese import parts).


I've purchased from these guys before, auto_cool autohouse on ebay, it's just a warehouse, not a retail location, and there is a $10 pickup fee!
i got it and our address is:
40 Shaft Rd. Unit#12-15
Etobicoke, ON M9W 4M2
tel: 416 249 5050

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Old 21-12-09, 04:29 PM   #16
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thanks again bbarbulo, i really appreciate all your help!!
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Old 21-12-09, 04:29 PM
 
 
 
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