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Old 12-08-2008, 10:39 AM   #1
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Cold Winter + Parking Break = Problems?

I've had my 2001 9-5 Aero, which is a 5spd for about 3.5 years now, but this is the first time I've experienced this.

It's winter in Chicago and very cold. Whenever I set my parking break, it refuses to become "unset" - the brake lever loosely flops up and down and has no resistance. Driving the car is very difficult for a few minutes, and what feels like the ABS shakes and stutters. Once, the ABS failure light came on, however after driving for a few minutes everything goes back to normal.

My regular foot brakes and all other parts of the car seem to be operating normally.

Has anyone ever experienced this? What might be some things that can be causing this?

I've been trying to park for the past week without using my parking brake (on inclines and such).

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:51 AM   #2
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Your rear calipers are most likely sticking, or your ebrake cable needs to be replaced, the reason why its difficult to drive for the first few minutes is probably because the brakes are engaged, try this, when you park the car with the ebrake, jack the rear up release the brake and see if if you can spin the wheels freely, if you cant that means your rear brakes are sticking, idk im sure it something else, im never right
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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You can get away without always having to see the e-brake, but you should get it looked at.

It almost seem like the e-brake cables have stretched when its pulled up and doesn't release them when you put it down. Just an idea.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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I had a problem with my 9k similar to yours, idk if the 9-5 works the same way or not, but the lever on the rear calipers was stuck, kinda rusted, what you can also do is, jack the car up take the rear wheels off and have someone pull and release the ebrake and see if anything is moving or not moving, i think thats the best place to start honestly
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:34 PM   #5
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there are little rubber boots on the end of the cable where the metal cable comes out of the rubber cable sheath, near the rear wheels. These boots are probably torn like the ones on my wife's car. Then water and moisture gets in and in cold weather it freezes there, so the cable does not release. This will cause your problem.

You can :

replace the e-brake cable with a new one

OR

don't use the e-brake in the winter. Park the car is gear (reverse)

We do the second.

Also, I replaced the e-brake shoes because they were shot, but this really had nothing to do with the cable releasing.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:28 PM   #6
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I have had the same issue since last year. I just don't use the handbrakes..both my back wheels ALWAYS freeze up and I have to drive the car up and down the hill to get them to warm up.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:38 PM   #7
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Just don't use the brake if you don't want to replace the cable.... Excessive driving with it "stuck on" might lead to this:



Yes that is a brand new ebrake shoe (green) compared to totally shot ones. The orange has barely any friction material, the red was worn down to none!
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:05 PM   #8
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Today the temperatures hovered in the low 40s, and wouldn't you know it, the brake returned to completely normal operation.

Does this mean it's safe for me to assume it's the water freezing issue mentioned above? Does this mean I should look to replace the rubber boots and not the cable itself?
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpaanlka View Post
Today the temperatures hovered in the low 40s, and wouldn't you know it, the brake returned to completely normal operation.

Does this mean it's safe for me to assume it's the water freezing issue mentioned above? Does this mean I should look to replace the rubber boots and not the cable itself?
I would say 99.9% you have the same issue as I do. what you describe was me all last winter

the rubber boots on the end of the cable are not something you can replace, really. You just get a new cable. I didn't, because I didn't feel like dropping the downpipe and lowering part of the fuel tank to do it. And, like I said, we just park the car in gear and it's fine in the winter. Although, I park on level ground at work and home so I am not as concerned about the extra safety of the parking brake.

In your case, you might consider replacing the cable.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:43 PM   #10
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63 dollars at eeuroparts.com if you are handy, the labor is free!

see at the ends, right past the white collar piece the little black rubber boots (cone shape)?

that is what tears or comes off alltogether.

if you jack up the rear of the car and look at where the cable grabs the ebrake lever on the rear wheels, you should be able to inspect these boots for damage.

but like I said I would bet this is your problem! it's exactly how my car is and when I described it to my mechanic he told it was the boots torn without even looking at the car. And it was.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:56 PM   #11
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same thing happened to me last winter and took it to the dealership and turned out to be the rubber as well. i opt not using the ebrake.
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