Question about 1998 Pontiac Grand Am

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While lifted and in park, one wheel turns and the other doesnt

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You dont have a ltd slip diff.
is there actualky a fault with your car?

Posted on Apr 21, 2014

  • keith powell
    keith powell Apr 24, 2014

    need more info like front or rear wheel



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1 Answer

Stuck parking brake

If the car won't move, the parking brake holds the rear wheels in place, and the transmission holds the front wheels. So one set of wheels should be able to turn if you lift them off the ground.

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Lifted in park one wheel turns the other doesnt

this is normal as it is the differential action that is occurring that allows one wheel to go faster than the other around corners. There is nothing top make the other wheel turn if you have both wheel off the ground but a dragging brake will stop it . IN fact if both wheels are free one wheel will go in the opposite direction to the other from the diff action.

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If what you stated is true, then an answer here is useless since you would have not been able to drive this vehicle after that, and have had it towed and repaired.

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The steering wheel is locked and the key wont turn. We've tried shaking and moving the wheel, but it hasn't yet worked.

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0. Put you car in "P" and DO NOT press the parking brake with you foot.
1. Lift up your car (about 4 feet to work easily)
2. Remove the back wheels.
3. Remove the two plugs from the combined drum / disc brake.
(it's in the middle part of the drum on the outer surface)
4. Grab a regular screwdriver and start adjusting by turning the 2 bolts inside the hole where you removed the rubber plugs.
5. Once you are ready, put back the plugs + mount the wheels.

Note: Please do not over-tighten the setting / calibrating bolts. You will NOT feel it! The best setting is, when you can still turn the drum with your hands, but you already hear that inside the drum the brake pads are slightly in contact with the drum.

USE GLOVES, as it's a dirty job.

This is some more info just because you have removed the wheels. I mean, if you have a bit more time you may do a short check (this is not related to the parking brake adjustment but highly recommended):
Once you have your car lifted and the wheels remove,
check also the silents and the shock absorbers for leeks. Also check the brake disks for thickness and how even they is. Check the thickness of the brake pads. If they are less than 2-3 mm I'd change them too! Not a big work, I can send you a 5 minute video hoe to do it.
You can clean the brakes with a brake cleaner once your car is lifted.
When re-mounting the tires use Zink-spray around and on the bolts of the wheel. This will help you removing them next time or at the next tire change. DON'T SPRAY IT ONTO THE DISKS!!!


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1 Answer

The ignition key will not come out.

If its not turned all the way to the off position try moving the key around while you turn the wheel back and forth, there is a lock mechanism in the steering wheel to prevent stealing the car without the key. Also make sure the shifter is in park, if the steering wheel doesnt work put some pressure on the shifter towards park and move the key around.

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Try turning the wheel both ways while trying to turn the may be in the lock detent position. if that doesnt work, then you need to get the lock cylnder replaced.

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Remove center console extension
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  • With parking brake released, tighten cable adjustment nuts until levers (arrow) on brake calipers lift off of stops.
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  • Pull parking brake on 3 times and then release again.
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