Sounds like one of the rear parking brake cables is sticking due to rust and lack of use. Once the pedal is released, the only thing pulling the cables back are rather wimpy springs on the drum brake shoes or spring-loaded levers on the disc brake calipers.
To identify if this is the cause of the dragging brake, you'll have to look underneath and follow the cables to where they go into the outer casings. Typically this is under the car in the area of the backs of the rear seats. The casings always start at a point where they're attached to a bracket welded to the body or frame. Those two cables will be rusty or dirty, but what you're looking for is a shiny stretch, about 1/2" long, right where they enter that casing. That shiny area indicates the cable is pulled out and not retracting fully.
The proper fix is to cut that cable off and replace it, but to get it released for now, you will usually be able to grab that casing and flex it to help the springs pull it back to the released position. Once it retracts enough, the brake for that wheel will release, but be aware that often the cable won't release fully. The typical symptom then is that brake will have a tendency to lock up and make that tire skid when you apply light to normal pressure on the brake pedal. That is a slightly unsafe condition but it will get you on the road for now.
If you have no further symptoms, you can continue driving that way, but understand the parking brake may not apply when you need it, and if you DO apply it, the next time the cables might be rusted so tightly that they won't apply and / or won't release at all.
Friday, January 16th, 2015 AT 6:33 PM