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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I drove a few miles from campus back to my apartment this evening and noticed a hot smell coming from the right rear wheel. I touched the wheel and it was hot, which immediately got me thinking the parking brake is stuck.

Sure enough, I jacked up the rear of the car and tried spinning the rear wheel which normally is very easy to do. I can BARELY turn it using both my hands. Its been cold the past few days (15-20 degrees F) so that is probably part of the problem.

Does anyone have suggestions to free it up? I tried pulling the handle a few times lightly and harder and it did nothing. I know there is a cable adjustment under the center console but not sure I wanna mess with accessing it right now. If I could just get the brake un-frozen that'll be good for now. I'll just remember not to pull it again until I have time to really look at it.
 

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Elvira
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Get under the car and physically move the parking brake mechanism after a PBblast. Careful to keep blast off brake and rotor of course. Try to pull the cable toward the front of the car to replicate pulling on the handle and releasing it.
Do this with the car on the ground and not up on stands. You need to pull hard sometimes on the cable. You might also lube it a little too.
Miker
 

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Wow this sounds really familiar. I just replaced the drivers rear parking brake cable on my '09. I originally thought It was a caliper sticking but it turned out to be the parking brake cable. I would unbolt the parking brake cable from the caliper and unhook it from the parking brake level and manually actuate the parking brake mechanism at the caliper and make sure it applies and releases freely. This would make sure it is the cable. I don't think an adjustment under the console will do much in this situation.

You should be able to completely back off the parking brake at the caliper by pushing the lever towards the rear of the car.
 

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All of the posts offer good advice, but redhat's observations to verify it is not a frozen caliper is worth an extra look.
 

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Are both rear wheels hard to turn? If it were the parking brake, would that not affect both brakes? If only one wheel is frozen, could that be a symptom of another problem?
 

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Are both rear wheels hard to turn? If it were the parking brake, would that not affect both brakes? If only one wheel is frozen, could that be a symptom of another problem?
Parking brake has shared cable at front but splits so each wheel has its own cable that can freeze up. A hot wheel is normally from brakes dragging, hence parking brake. Can be stuck caliper or even wheel bearing but not as likely.

Time to crawl under the car and pull the cable back as was mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You should be able to completely back off the parking brake at the caliper by pushing the lever towards the rear of the car.
That got it fixed for now.

Since its cold and snowing and my car is parked outside I didn't feel like crawling underneath. Was able to just take off the right rear wheel which gave me enough access to push the small parking break lever on the caliper back down to release the brake. I tried setting the parking brake a few more times while I had the wheel off and sure enough that caliper lever doesn't fully return to open position when the parking brake handle is released inside the car.

When I've got some free time in a week I'll have to take the cable off like you said and see if its the lever or cable that's getting stuck and not returning.
 
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