Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Parking brake is locked up.

asked by on

it seems that the parking brake on the rear passenger tire is not letting go. i can release the brake, the dummy light goes out but when i shift into reverse the car will not move. the first time i tried, the drivers side rear tire spun in the driveway when i gave the car some extra gas. for now i can rock the car back and forth like i am stuck in the snow but it won't go more than an inch or so. i can feel the car roll up on the right side as i try to give it gas. can the brake pad be frozen on the wheel? how do i get it loose? how can i take it to the dealer if i can move it? can't even tow it right?

My car has 75000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The car can still be towed. Often, the meta...

The car can still be towed. Often, the metal wires cables that control the mechanical parking brake may rust in their insulation and that causes the cable to bind and seize. These systems can fail in both the released position or the clamped position like yours has. You should not try to release the brake yourself as it may be dangerous if it decides to let go while your hands are in the area. Consider hiring an experienced technician like one from YourMechanic to may be able to come to your location, inspect the problem with the parking brake and offer a more personal diagnosis and 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: Truck will not shift out of park.

There are a few things to check. Check fuse #9 carefully. Sometimes fuses look ok from the top but are actually blown. Use a multimeter to ensure the fuse has not gone bad. Also double check the brake pedal...

Q: HVAC controls don't work. All fuses are good and the relay works. there is still no power to HVAC unit.

Hi there. Check to see if there is power to the air conditioning controls. If there is power to the controls and there is power to the fuse and relay, then the air conditioning controls need replaced. If there is...

Q: Brake lines need bleeding.

If the brakes need excessive pressure to stop the car then you could have an issue with the brake booster is not working or leaking vacuum. the brake pads and rotors could be glazed and would require excessive stopping force...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
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...