Question - Sticking Brake Caliper

Discussion in 'General GM Discussions' started by FourthandShort, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. FourthandShort

    FourthandShort New Member

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    Quick question for anyone who can help here.

    I have a 2008 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali. Recently it dropped below freezing and when I started the vehicle and released the parking brake. I put the truck in gear and when I released the brake, the truck stayed still. I applied the gas and the truck moves but it feels like the brake is still engaged.

    I drove slowly up and down the street and then checked all four tires and none appeared warmer than the rest, but it feels like the driver side brake is staying on.

    Anyone seen this type of behavior before? What would this sound like I should be looking for? If I jack it up and pull the tire off, what should I be looking for to diagnose the issue?

    Thanks for any help you all can provide.
     
  2. Graystone

    Graystone Mmm Sandwich

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    Pretty common for the line to freeze up and not release. Next question is why are you using the parking brake?
     
  3. FourthandShort

    FourthandShort New Member

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    Thank you, I am going to have them take a look at it. I use the parking brake as I park on a slight incline at my house.
     
  4. FourthandShort

    FourthandShort New Member

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    Is there any specific reason the brake lines freeze when the temps drop? I had it happen again, but not as bad. I couldn't see or feel heat from the rotors but from driving it up and down the street, I could smell the brakes. It seemed like the Parking Brake was stuck. Anyone ever had to deal with this?
     
  5. Graystone

    Graystone Mmm Sandwich

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    Water
     
  6. kids-at-711

    kids-at-711 Resident Bath Salt Consultant

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    Wait, so you made a thread to ask. You get an answer, and rather than checking you're going to take it to a shop? Doesnt that defeat asking on the forum?
     
  7. FourthandShort

    FourthandShort New Member

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    The post was to get better educated to what could be causing the problem. I am still at a loss.

    Forgive my ignorance, as I did have someone look at the issue and as you can tell, I am still back looking for answers as the problem reappeared recently. When the temp drops below freezing I am seeing brakes freezing. I am not sure if it is the traditional brake or parking brake. I also am not sure if the line is frozen, as the brakes are responsive and the brake oil should be good and avoid freezing to temps which are way colder than what we had in Texas recently.

    So maybe I am confused but I am not aware of what the answer is. I would love to learn more about what could be driving this problem.

    Also the reason I took it to the shop was they did the brakes recently and I was hoping it might have been caused by their work and covered without me having to tear the wheels off.
     
  8. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    Usually, it's water/snow on the brake cables and the cables freeze up. You can have moisture inside the cables too and that will make them stiff and freeze in cold temps. I doubt you're getting ice in the brake hydraulic lines, though brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture from the air. Make sure you have your brake fluid flushed every 3 years and don't set your parking brake in the winter time if you can help it. It should usually be OK but if you've been driving in slushy conditions you will often freeze the parking brake cables.
     
  9. FourthandShort

    FourthandShort New Member

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    Thank you very much. I am thinking it is the Parking Brake freezing. I am going to check next time the temp drops to see if I leave the parking brake off to see if it makes a difference. The last two times it happened, the brake was on due to parking on a grade.
     
  10. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    I just drove my 22 year old daughter out to Provo UT for school last week (long drive from NC.) She has a 2011 VW Jetta w/ 5spd. As we drove out we talked about winter driving conditions we were encountering on the way and that she will encounter while out there. One of the things I advised her of last week was NOT to use her parking brake if it wasn't absolutely needed, for this very reason. Slush thrown up into the suspension can cause them to freeze up and drag in many cases. In some cases you don't have a choice but if you can get away without the parking brake in the winter time then that's always recommended. With an automatic trans you can get away with it more than with manual transmission.
     
  11. FourthandShort

    FourthandShort New Member

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    Thank you for the clarification, I always cringed when my truck would roll back onto the transmission after parking it. I have been driving a manual for years (2005 Jeep TJ) and always tried to avoid letting it rest on the transmission.

    I appreciate the insight.
     
  12. Graystone

    Graystone Mmm Sandwich

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    Why in a manual? If the trans cannot handle the pressure from a park truck it won't handle the power coming out of the motor. Autos there is a parking pin however it takes a lot to break it. I never use parking brakes. Especially in winter
     
  13. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    Because a manual has no parking pin (as an auto does) to lock the transmission from turning at all and prevent the wheels from turning the engine. In an automatic, unless you break it, the parking pawl will prevent the weight of the vehicle from turning the engine. In a manual, if the vehicle rolls the engine will turn, at a rate determined by what gear it's in. The best gear for parking a manual transmission vehicle is reverse since it's the lowest gear. In some trucks that might be first gear but I'm not familiar with the actual gear rations between first and reverse. In most manual transmission cars, reverse is best.

    Basically, you cannot "push start" an automatic transmission vehicle when it's in park (or any other gear for that matter) but you certainly can push start a manual trans car in first gear, second gear, etc.

    Edit: I may have misunderstood the above reply. It's generally not good to let the weight of the vehicle sit on the parking pawl when parked on a hill. It really doesn't hurt anything when it's sitting there but when pulling it out of park and into a gear, when disengaging the parking pawl, it puts a lot of pressure on the pawl and it most definitely can break it.

    The best method to parking an automatic on a hill is to set the parking brake first, so the vehicle's weight is resting on the parking brake, and then put it in Park. That way the vehicle weight is not resting on the pawl and it will come out of Park nice and easy. That assumes, of course, you're not concerned about the parking brake freezing up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  14. Graystone

    Graystone Mmm Sandwich

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    I would rather have it on the pin than have the brakes locked in winter. And also how big of an incline are we talking about?
     
  15. Phildirt

    Phildirt GMFS Member

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    What is a parking brake
     
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  16. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    If you've ever paid to repair the parking pawl in an auto trans you might not always think that way. It does depend very much on the amount of incline. A slight incline isn't a big deal. However, park on a steep hill and let the vehicle rest in Park without the parking brake and then shift out of Park into Drive or Reverse and feel what it does to the trans. When you know what's going on in the trans when that loud clunk is heard and felt it would make you very nervous...at least it does me. I've seen broken parking pawls before. It's relatively inexpensive to replace brakes....auto trans, not so much. I don't think there's a one size fits all. I can see instances to use either method.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  17. Graystone

    Graystone Mmm Sandwich

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    I guess 20 years of owning autos I have managed well in not breaking any. I am not worried about parking the way I have for years
     
  18. Phildirt

    Phildirt GMFS Member

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    Who the hell shifts from park to drive without their foot on the brake. Lol
     
  19. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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    Once you put the vehicle in Park and then let your foot off the brake the weight of the vehicle is all on that park pawl--the more incline, the more weight. When you later get ready to go and you put your foot on the brake so you can put it in gear, it doesn't relieve the pressure being held on the park pawl, so putting your foot on the brake doesn't help.

    Freezing temps and snow/slush aside, if I park on a significant incline I always set the parking brake first and then put it in Park. That way all the weight of the vehicle is resting on the parking brake and there is no pressure on the park pawl but it's there as a safety backup if the parking brake starts to give. If you do that you will have no pressure on it when you pull it from Park to Drive or Reverse. If you put it in Park first, let off the foot brake before setting the parking brake you will have all that pressure on the park pawl and then can be difficult to pull it out of Park.
     
  20. John Clark

    John Clark GMFS Member

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