Question about 1997 Nissan Maxima

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97 Maxima Rear wheel locked, abs light is on

Parked and woke up in cold weather to find locked right rear wheel. Hand brake was initially on and seemed to come off ok. Other rear wheel is turning. Also, may have turned for a while but just in reverse. This happened before and had the pads, disk, etc. replaced. Also, (probably separate issue) engine check light has been on for a while and seems like using more gas, giving off extra fumes, maybe electrical signal problem to the modern version of a distributor cap. All this is exactly the same as what happened about six months ago. Car slowed down and stopped then. Supposedly it was fixed.

Any ideas on how to get the wheel loose enough to reach a garage and save a towing bill, assuming only basic mechanical skills?

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You probably have a sticky hand brake cable these have a tendency to corrode inside. You will have to either cut the cable near the rear brake system, or if you can see the linkage where the cable is connected you can sometimes hit it with a rubber mallet. This should loosen it up enough to get you where you need to go. Does this have disc brakes in the rear or drum brakes? With disc you can sometimes get to the hand brake linkage. If it's a drum system then the drum will be siezed on until pressure is released. Which will mean cutting the cable. You want to do it as close to the end as possible, this part should then release. You will need to purchase a new cable, which is kind of espensive. Sometimes if you can see where the cable goes into a sleeve you can add some graphite grease and work the hand brake back and forth, this will loosen up the cable as well.

Posted on Dec 11, 2009

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Your rear wheels have a brake combo(Disc & shoe). Disc of course you can see from the outside but you also have a shoe hidden inside the rotor. Most likely the shoe or the hardware inside the disc rotor hung up. As for saving money for towing, it's kinda hard to do work right in the middle of the highway.

As for the engine light coming. The computer for the car has put itself in a "LIMP" mode which basically puts your engine at its basic function untill you reach the garage. That explains why your Maxima is eating up more gas than usual and extra fumes. Most of the time it is your Oxygen sensor gone bad but have a technician hook up their computer onto your OBD II.

Posted on Dec 11, 2009

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