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    Thread: Hand brake frozen on!! How can I get it to unstick??

    1. 12-17-2007 10:30 AM #1
      My car tends to have the hand brake get stuck in the on position when it gets very cold out.

      This morning I put my car at the bottom of the driveway and decided to put the hand brake since the driveway is a little steep. I went inside to get ready and about an hour later I came out to find that my hand brake has frozen on. When I undid the brake, the handle was loose and the cables don't move. I made it worse by trying to unstick it by pulling on the ebrake more. Now the brake is completely on and the car won't even move.

      My question is, what can I do? Is there a spring that's frozen that I can bang or anything? Could I apply heat to any certain area? I know putting it in the garage has fixed the issue before, but since the hand brake is so far on, I can't get the car to move at all.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks.


    2. Member Quickfry's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 10:36 AM #2
      I would have a look at the rear brakes, see if you can force the cable from there, a small sledge would be a good thing to have on hand.

    3. 12-17-2007 10:39 AM #3
      What is the cable connected to? I'm not sure what I should be hitting

    4. Member Dewie's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 10:39 AM #4
      assuming you have read drums... you could try taking a hair dryer to the e-brake cables... I would personally put it in a warm garage when you get the chance and somehow lubricate the cables.

      Earlier in the summer when I had my car torn to hell - I sprayed a hell of a lot of WD40 down the cables inside the car until it came out (around where the rubber was broken on the cables) and worked the cables flushing all the crud I could out - then I sprayed spray grease after the WD40 evaporated. I then pealed off the busted up rubber coating on the e-brake cables and cleaned everything up as best I could.

      I then covered the exposed metal of the cable with grease then covered everything with some rubber hose I had sliced open length-wise and put hose clamps on either end. Ideally you would just replace your cables however I couldn't afford to at the time. I have had no issues as of yet with my cables.

      If you were really ambitious you could take your cables off - hold them up and spray WD40 down them to flush the water/crud out, then put the spray grease down.


    5. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 10:40 AM #5
      chok your wheels up front so the car won't run you over..... put the brake handle in the down position..... get under the back wheels and pry the caliper arms up with a large flathead... do that on both rear wheels and don't use your ebrake when it's freezing, buy a wheel chok, if you don't have one, and carry it with you.

      edit,..this is if you have disk brakes. but still get a chok for the winter.

    6. 12-17-2007 10:40 AM #6
      http://faculty.ccp.edu/faculty...x.htm

      Hope that's the right link.


    7. 12-17-2007 10:46 AM #7
      Sorry, guess that was important to specify. I have rear disc brakes, not drums.

      Is it the cable that's freezing up against something? I guess the high temperature of 31 won't help me any. Is there anything I can do short of prying the pads open? It's pretty darn cold outside right now. Could I apply heat somewhere?


    8. 12-17-2007 10:48 AM #8
      Did you even click that link I posted or are you just going to keep asking the same question? Gotta help yourelf a little to brah

    9. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 10:49 AM #9
      Quote, originally posted by SatelliteGuy »
      Sorry, guess that was important to specify. I have rear disc brakes, not drums.

      Is it the cable that's freezing up against something? I guess the high temperature of 31 won't help me any. Is there anything I can do short of prying the pads open? It's pretty darn cold outside right now. Could I apply heat somewhere?



      if you have disc brakes do what i suggested,.. aside from replacing your cables and guide tubes, thats going to be your easiest solution. you could try to pull it into a heated garage and hope it'll release itself but all it needs is a little force. just don't use it anymore in the cold. I just replaced mine in november and I'm still not going to use the ebrake handle in these temps.

      you asked if the cable was freezing up on something? NO... the cable is isnide a rubber tube,..water gets inside and freezes. also creates rust which will inhibit the usage of the brake at any temperature. the cable is supposed to be able to pull the caliper arm, but if frozen or rusted it cannot which is why you need to force it with a large flathead as a temporary fix so that you can drive.


      Modified by chameleon78 at 10:56 AM 12-17-2007


    10. 12-17-2007 10:53 AM #10
      I did, thank you very much. I'll end up doing that, but right now my car is on the side of the street and it's 20 degrees outside.

    11. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:01 AM #11
      Quote, originally posted by SatelliteGuy »
      my car is on the side of the street and it's 20 degrees outside.

      so put some gloves on, get yourself an old blanket or a large piece of cardboard to lay on and fix your car.

    12. 12-17-2007 11:02 AM #12
      i just drive it til it unsticks

    13. 12-17-2007 11:05 AM #13
      this happened to me last week, i have a VR so im not sure what differences that presents, but when i put the hand brake down, it was loose and it felt like the brake was still on when i tried backing up. well i was late for work already and it probably wasnt the best idea, but i just drove with it like that and it came unstuck by itself and went back to normal. the brake works fine again, its not loose or grab less or anything. im not suggesting you do this but if its really cold out and you know your car does this, just park it in gear and leave the e-brake for the warmer months

    14. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:07 AM #14
      Quote, originally posted by broken dipstick »
      i just drive it til it unsticks

      the laugh should suggest don't do this.

    15. 12-17-2007 11:10 AM #15
      it won't hurt as long as they don't stay stuck.

      if your rotorz turn cherry red and your pads turn to smoke you may have a problem.


    16. 12-17-2007 11:19 AM #16
      i boil water and throw it on the frozen parts , it works everytime

    17. Member Dewie's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:30 AM #17
      Hair Dryer/heat gun!

    18. 12-17-2007 11:32 AM #18
      it'll warm up eventually.

    19. 12-17-2007 11:33 AM #19
      Where do you pour the hot water on top of? I'd love a simple fix for now until I can change the cables in the garage on a weekend.


      Modified by SatelliteGuy at 1:07 PM 12-17-2007

    20. Banned reflexbug's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:33 AM #20
      Quote, originally posted by airplanevomitcontainer »
      i boil water and throw it on the frozen parts , it works everytime

      since when do things freeze in Tampa?

      put in in the garage until it unfreezes, then don't use the ebrake until you replace the cables. They get water in them and freeze, only way to fix them permenantly is to replace them.


    21. 12-17-2007 11:36 AM #21
      get a brick, and don't use your e-brake.

    22. Member quiksilver6's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:41 AM #22
      my e-brake has just been stuck down since i got the car, i've never been able to use it. do i need to just replace the whole thing also, like in that DIY?
      how much does everything needed cost?

    23. Member GTI_VR6_98's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:42 AM #23
      dude stop being a noob. you have bad cables like 80 percent of us here if you dont have a garage go drive it ya u are going to heat ur pads up alot. and yes even with ur ebrake fully on you can drive it it will loosen up then dont set it again unless you go buy new cables. the guy posted dan j reed's thing about ebrakes. Now listen to these ppl and stop asking ?'s It's like 20/30 bucks for parts just go replace

    24. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:44 AM #24
      Quote, originally posted by SatelliteGuy »
      Where do you pour the hot water on top of? I'd love a simple fix for now until I can change the cables in the garage on a weekend.


      how much more of an easy fix do you need? pry the caliper arms off with a flathead,.. you're going to pour hot water on it instead which will freeze up too? when the caliper releases you'll probably run yourself over. if you aren't going to listen to helpful suggestions on the right way to do things and rather look for the newb answers to your question,...do you really think you'll be able to fix your situation yourself this weekend as you stated?? sorry for sounding frustraed but hell,... you've been given answers and you're still sitting there looking for the most retarded solution.


      Modified by chameleon78 at 11:48 AM 12-17-2007

    25. 12-17-2007 11:47 AM #25
      q= m*c* (change in)T???

    26. Banned VR sith's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 11:59 AM #26
      follow dan's diy to do this fix correctly if you havn't done one before. you'll need new guide tubes which you'll probably need to order from the dealership at $12 each, skip on buying the brake cables there since they are $24 each. do yourself a favor and order 2 brake cables from http://www.germanautoparts.com at $14 each. do some research on this or you won't be fixing it this weekend without the parts needed.

      don't pour hot water on it.

    27. Member pappas64's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 12:04 PM #27
      Use a brick, not a brake.

      psn - pappas64

    28. Junior Member
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      12-17-2007 03:15 PM #28
      so i have a similar, or else completely opposite problem. i've had my jetta since june and the e-brake has never worked. is there a way to tighten or should i just go ahead and replace the cables?


    29. 12-17-2007 03:23 PM #30
      pouring boiling hot water on a frozen caliper sounds to me like your begging for it to crack

    30. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 03:26 PM #31
      I hate the term but... dang newbs....


    31. Member no_dub_to_rub's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 03:27 PM #33
      salming the lever always works well with bros rado

    32. 12-17-2007 03:28 PM #34
      http://faculty.ccp.edu/faculty...x.htm

      Seriously, after that (which was pretty early on in this thread) the thread was over. No one has asked a question that can't be answered by reading that.


    33. Banned chameleon78's Avatar
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      12-17-2007 03:31 PM #35
      Quote, originally posted by Premarin »
      http://faculty.ccp.edu/faculty...x.htm

      Seriously, after that (which was pretty early on in this thread) the thread was over. No one has asked a question that can't be answered by reading that.



      um,..dan was supposed to have the last word here fellas,... go back and delete your posts,..

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