Q: Can't go forward but I can go backwards, middle of winter. It's like truck holds when I put it into drive

asked by on January 05, 2017

I have a 1990 dodge ram d150 with a 350 engine and it's automatic, I can only drive in reverse and not forward because my back right tire doesn't want to move when I put it into drive. It's in the middle of winter so I'm wondering if it's just frozen.

My car has 189275 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I am assuming that your truck has drum brakes in the rear, so please understand that this is where the following comments are coming from. If you use your parking brake in extremely cold conditions, especially on older vehicles that will collect road dirt and corrosion over time, the parking brake cables and brackets can freeze up, causing the parking brakes to remain engaged. Also, the same condition can occur with the service hydraulic brakes, especially if there are any types of fluid leaks inside the brake drum. Wheel cylinders can sometimes seep brake fluid, which is hygroscopic and attracts moisture, turning the seeping brake fluid basically into water, as brake fluid is also water soluble. By design, drum brakes will apply themselves harder as the wheels move in the forward direction, and exert less pressure to the drums as you reverse. I believe this is why the wheels will turn in reverse, and not in forward motion. Of course, there could have been a brake component mechanically fail, but this is a condition I have seen several times over the years with drum brakes. If this is something you feel you could use further help to identify and/or repair, contact a certified mechanic, like those available at YourMechanic.com.

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