Question about 1997 Pontiac Sunfire

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R/h rear brake locks up - 1997 Pontiac Sunfire

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Does it lock when cold (when 1st driven for the day) or after driving for a while? Pull off the wheel and drum and check for evidence of brake fluid (a leaking brake cylinder) or grease (a bad axle grease seal), either of these can cause the brakes to 'grab' or lock up. If this is what you find, you need to correct the leak problem and replace the brake shoes, which have become contaminated with the fluid. You should always change both rear or front brakes together for the best performance. Also check to make sure the springs and other hardware have not broken or become detached from their mounting positions. After driving for a while, carefully touch the wheel where the lug nuts are to see if that wheel is hotter to touch than the others. If it is, the brakes are 'dragging', not releasing completely as you drive, and heating up. This will also cause them to 'grab' or lock up. If this is the case, back off on the adjuster to see if that solves the problem, but more likely, it is a bad brake cylinder (corrosion inside the brake cylinder) which is causing it to hang up, and not release when you take your foot off the brake. If this is the problem, replace the brake cylinder at the rear wheel, and flush out the brake lines to avoid a similar problem in the near future with the other wheels. If the wheel was overheating due to the problem, you also need to replace the brake hardware(springs do not work properly when severely overheated).

Posted on Oct 07, 2009

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