Question about 2001 Chevrolet Malibu

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The left rear wheel is locked up when moving

The left rear wheel is locked up and leaves skic marks when moving forward or reverse on my mom's 2001 Chev Malibu. The emregency brake pedal was not engaged. I tried applying and releasing the emergency brake, but it had no effect. The car was working fine earlier today.

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  • eskic Jun 28, 2009




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Could be defective brake, or wheel bearing.

A lot of times the rear wheel cylinder goes bad and either freezes up or starts to leak fluid onto the pads causing the brakes to lock up on that wheel.

You haven't indicated the trim level of the Malibu - but if you have disc brakes in the rear - the cylinder may have blown out out if pads are worn below spec. this would result in fluid on the tire and on the ground. You haven't mentioned it - so I'd have to assume your rear brakes are Drum Brakes.

Drum brakes CLICK HERE there are many springs and components that can fail here. It may be as simple as an adjustment - however you will not be able to properly diagnose either brake, and it is not an easy end-user fix.

In either case - it will take professional repair. Wheel bearings require a press and disassembly of the entire axle and will run in the $300 range. (bearing is about $40)

Most places will inspect brakes for free - your next issue will be getting it there :D

Before calling the tow truck - take off the rear tire and give the drum a few whacks. It may be enough to temporarily release the mechanical bind - but have it serviced asap.

Thanks for using FixYa!!

Posted on Jun 28, 2009


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