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Old 12-15-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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e-brake frozen

After reading through threads I've come to the conclusion that those rubber pieces are bad and the cable is frozen in place. So what should I do to get it unstuck? Once unstuck I just won't use my ebrake during the cold season. I drove the car for about 200 ft passed my driveway and immediately drove back. It was really hard to accelerate, there was a loud "clunk" from the rear right wheel, and my warning chime sounded, my ABS light is on, my brake light is on, my central warning light is on, and the traction control was immediately turned off by the computer. I'm too scared to drive it until the cable unfreezes, and I'm crossing my fingers that will solve my problem.

Any suggestion?

Also, I wanted to drive it into the garage to possibly help the thawing process, and when driving in the breaks completely locked up. I rolled back a couple feet and they did it in the exact same spot. After a few more tries I rolled back a good 15 feet letting the tires rotate a few full rotations (no sticking while reversing). I then reached that same spot of the sticking and freely moved passed it. Once halfway into the garage it happened again but immediately unstuck. My roommate, fellow saab enthusiast, was baffled.

Any thoughts on this?

Last edited by Zach_cdr; 12-15-2008 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Wanted to add something
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Old 12-15-2008, 01:40 PM   #2
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Try backing up a little and stop using the ebrake in the winter.
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:13 PM   #3
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yes, it's probably the same problem we have had.

let it warm up, and don't use the e-brake all winter. Then, replace the e-brake cable, and adjust your e-brake shoes, then adjust the new cable.

that should fix it. assuming your shoes are in good condition. (which sounds like they are if the are grabbing so much)
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:41 AM   #4
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After dealing with this a couple weeks, in the few rare times I used my ebrake, I find that the best way to unstick it is to gently rock the car back AND forth a few times first, then drive.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:24 PM   #5
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crc 2+2 helps thaw the cable ends
soaking the cable with penetrating lube a few times a year can help make the new cable last longer
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:27 AM   #6
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I had a similar problem with my Focus, except that it wasn't that it froze over night, it had basically rusted itself on from where I had let it sit for like 2 months with the e-brake on. Tried rocking it and tried pulling the handle up as far as I possibly could and then releasing it. Finally, I had to jack it up, take the wheel off, soak the cable and everything I could see attached to it with WD-40, whacked the hub a few times with a rubber mallet and it finally broke loose.
Lesson here: Don't let your car sit for 2 months with the e-brake on .
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