Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Both rear tires will not rotate.

asked by on

the car was sitting on a slight incline with the emergency brake engaged for roughly about 2 and a half months due to it needing tagged and registered. When attempted to move after that time, both rear tires would give roughly around a half an inch and then no longer rotate and slide across the ground. I've called around and asked about the issue and they recommended moving the car back and forth to attempt to free the rotation. I did so for a few minutes and didn't make much progress. Also when I pull and release the handbrake, I don't have any extra tension that wasn't present before the issue. I also have drum brakes on the rear tires and the car is FWD

My car has 105000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It’s not unusual for brakes to basically rust "shut" if a car sits for a long time. The corrosion can be so complete, the car’s wheels will literally be locked in place. If the wheels won’t free up by trying to "drive" the car back and forth, it might be possible to jack up each rear wheel and use a really long wrench attached to the center hub to try to manually break it free.

Another possibility, if the wheels are just dragging across the ground as you drive to and fro, is load sandbags in the trunk to put more weight (gain more traction) on the wheels, hoping that they will turn rather than "drag" across the ground (don’t put too much weight; you’ll damage the suspension).

If none of that works, the brakes will have to be dis-assembled and that may require a really powerful 10-20 ton puller because the drum could be rusted to the hub, not to mention the brake linings as well. When you start using a puller in this circumstance, you have to exercise caution because when the puller "releases", if it brings the shoes and springs with it, you could have parts flying all over.

It also sounds like it is so stuck that the brakes will have to be restored so even if you free it and the wheels turn, the brakes are going to be noisy due to all the corrosion, which noise may or may not disappear as you drive the car. You may also need a new emergency brake cable.

If you’d like assistance with this, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home and diagnose the brake system firsthand for an accurate repair.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Whine coming from the gearbox

The noise that you are hearing is coming from the power steering pump because the pump is full of air. Turn the wheels from left to right with the cover off the pump to let all of the air out....

Q: Hardness in brake when press on pedal

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 1989 Buick Reatta. You may have more than one problem going on. Typically, a hard pedal is caused by a problem with the brake booster. If the ABS light is on, the...

Q: I'm smelling gas - 1997 Volvo 850

Hi there and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. The best way is to look in your owner's manual and look up the fuel tank size. Then remove the fuel tank from the vehicle to gain access to the fuel filler neck....

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...