My brakes are sticking and locking up?

Tiny
WILLIEDYNAMITE11
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 5.3L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 135,000 MILES
When I accelerate it feels as if my truck is being held back or something is keeping it from having full power. There's a grind sounding noise from the rear end, but I've changed the differential fluid. Also noticed significantly when turning a corner. Any insight or help would be greatly appreciated.
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Monday, January 6th, 2020 AT 11:35 AM

32 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
I am going to assume you have rear disc brakes just because if you have rear drum then the parking brake is part of the rear shoes. However, if you have rear disc brakes then the parking brakes are inside the rotor. A lot of times these get hung up and will start dragging and making noise once they are worn out. I would suggest pulling the rotor off and looking at the parking brakes to see if that is the issue.
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Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 AT 5:09 PM
Tiny
WILLIEDYNAMITE11
  • MEMBER
No I have drum brakes in the rear.
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Thursday, January 9th, 2020 AT 12:14 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Okay. That makes checking this easier to check. Lift the rear of the vehicle and put the transmission in Neutral (block the wheels so it doesn't roll) and spin the rear tires. With no parking brake and in neutral, they should spin pretty easily with very little drag from the brakes. If they do then you have a different issue. If not, then we need to remove the drum and take a look.
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Thursday, January 9th, 2020 AT 6:27 PM
Tiny
A1AADVANCEDMARINE
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 6.0L
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 293,000 MILES
Truck listed above is the new body model. So my mechanics helper accidentally put about an ounce of power steering fluid in my brake reservoir. I didn't have any issues right away but maybe a month or two later I started having problems with the front brakes locking up. The pedal starts to get stiff and you can feel the resistance building up until the truck will stop itself once you let off the brakes. Pretty soon the truck will not be drivable or movable. The only way to get it moving again is to crack the bleeder screw on either side of the front calipers. I immediately had my buddy's shop replace the passenger front caliper (old one had a ton of tar and was looking pretty rough) and both front brake lines. I also had him reset the ABS and bled the system. Left his shop and 10 miles or less back to the brakes locking up. He instructed me to remove both ABS fuses and see if that stopped the issue. It has not. I am at a loss and my buddy's shop is too swamped to get me back in anytime soon. I am a marine mechanic and am confident I can sort this out with some help once I get pointed in the right direction. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. (Have Haynes Shop Manual on this truck as well) Thanks 2CarPros in advance!
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That isn't good. Power steering fluid will cause a lot of damage, quickly. Power steering fluid will cause seals to immediately begin swelling. As the seals swell, they expand and block passages causing issues such as you described. In this case, I feel the return ports in the brake master-cylinder are blocked and preventing the brakes to not release. Also, braking produces heat and the fluid to expand. If the fluid can't return to the reservoir when you release the pedal, due to swollen seals, the brakes remain applied, creating more heat and expansion, and eventually the brakes lock up. Usually, that will happen within a short distance.

The only truly effective way to fix the problem is to take everything apart and replace every rubber part and flushing out the others. Now, since some parts were already replaced, chances are they are now contaminated as well.

I wish I had a better answer, but I feel this is what has happened.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
A1AADVANCEDMARINE
  • MEMBER
So the fluid has been filled and bleed a few times before the front brake lines were replaced. I feel confident saying that the power steering fluid would have been flushed out prior to the changing of the brakes lines. I understand that this is a split system and also hydro boost assisted. One other piece of info I forgot to add is that the brakes lock up much faster if the truck sits and idles as opposed to driving. Wouldn't the rear brakes also have been locking up from the power steering fluid put into the master cylinder? I know this is a whole can of worms and if I have to rebuild the entire braking system I guess that's just the route I will have to go. I am doing my due diligence and research and will get this solved one way or another. Just hoping I can purchase rebuild kits for some of these parts and not get sucked into having to buying a ton of high priced parts.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I have what will sound like a stupid question. Do the brakes lock up when making sharp turns only? There was an issue with the hydro boost systems years ago. The brake pedal would actually move and lock the brakes when making sharp turns.

Honestly, the person that put the power steering fluid in it should have insurance to cover this repair. It wasn't your fault. I'm not sure where you are located, but here in PA, we can't have a business without insurance. I realize he is a friend, but he left you with a mess. I would hope he would make it right for you.

Let me know.
Joe
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JATEBEE
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 5.3L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 80,000 MILES
You can drive about 20 feet when the truck stops without touching brakes. When I say stop I mean almost puts you through the windshield. After it sits a while it will drive about 10-20 feet before it does I again. You can hear a clunk from the back end. Back tires will spin but front end won't move if you gun it without touching brakes.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Has any work been done to the front brakes recently? What I need you to try is this. Safely lift the front of the vehicle so you can turn the tires by hand. I realize you may not be able to at first.

Once it is off, have a helper press the brake pedal so the front wheels lock up. Then, open the bleeder valve on the brake caliper to see if the wheel turns. If it does, close the bleeder and replace the rubber brake hose. If it doesn't release with the bleeder open, either the caliper piston is frozen or the caliper slides are frozen.

Do this and let me know the results. Once you tell me, I will provide you with what needs done next.

I attached a picture below if where to find and what the bleeder looks like. Be careful when loosening it because if it breaks, you will need to replace the entire caliper.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BEBA123
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 99,000 MILES
I have a 2006 Chevy Silverado LS, T engine and my front brakes locked up on both sides. I changed the calipers, brakes and high pressure lines that run from the caliper up. The brakes are still locked up. Do you have any suggestions as to what it might be? The ABS light on the dash is not lit, nor is the brake light. I know that they do work because I unplugged one of the ABS lines and the dashboard lit up. I have also tried bleeding the brake lines. If I remove the caliper and push the piston back in, after reassembling, hitting the brake pedal again, the pistons will not retract.

Both fronts are locked up. Also, I have already checked the rubber hoses.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hey BEBA123,

The front brake lock up because the caliper cannot slide freely, you must remove the calipers and service the caliper slides or the brake booster is not returning fully. When the brakes are locks release the bleeder on the caliper if the wheel turns its a pressure issue if not it will be a caliper problem.

This guide can help you see how to service the slides

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-front-brake-pads-and-rotors-fwd

If that seems to be okay then while the brake are locked up loosen the master cylinder mounting bolts and allow the master to slide forward about a 1/4 of an inch. If the brakes release it means the push rod for the master coming out of the booster is to long and needs to be wound inward. This allows the master to fully unload keeping the brakes from locking up.

Please let us know what you find so it will help others.

Best, Ken

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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:37 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CEDARSTUMP
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
Brakes problem V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 85000 miles

I have a 2005 Chevy Silverado that I recently purchased. The problem that I have is when I first back out of the driveway in the mornings. When I go to put the truck in drive it will not go because the brakes are locked up. If I put the truck in reverse again and then back in drive it will go. As I go out the gravel drive and press the brakes both back tires will lock up and slide. This only happens in the morning when I leave for work. I can not see any brake fluid leaking from the inside of the wheels like a brake cylinder leaking. Does any one have any suggestions. Thanks in advance for your help
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

When rear brake lock up it means the shoes are getting to small to work right with the drum and its time for a rear brake job.

Here is a video that will help you get the job done.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ts8SRUxRc8 its an older car but the idea is the same.

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken

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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MMORLAND
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 4.8L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Front brakes will lock up after car drives a while, calipers will not release. They sometimes do, sometimes do not. Causes the car to overheat because the rpm's rev up as the brakes are engaging. Replaced pads, rotors, calipers, master cylinder, brake booster and installed AcDelco hoses. Same issue occurs. I have had to replace pads, rotors and calipers four times in a year and a half. Removed ABS fuse, same issue. I am baffled.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
This sounds like the brake booster rod is extended out to far not allowing the master cylinder to return fully. To be sure when the brake are locked up loosen the brake master mounting bolts. If the brakes release you have found the problem.

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
MMORLAND
  • MEMBER
Ken, Thank you for the information. How do I adjust the booster rod to not extend out too far? Thank you
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Remove the master (pull it away from the booster) you will see the rod has threads on it, turn the plugger inward until you have 1/8 inch freeplay.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
BLAKE DOSSEY
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 CHEVROLET SILVERADO
  • 5.3L
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 108,000 MILES
The truck drives just fine if I am only going straight. I guess the brake pedal could be a little firmer, but otherwise it brakes fine. My problem is when I turn. When I am reversing out of my parking space and the wheel is turned, the front brakes lock up. When I turn a corner or drive through an intersection and turn the wheel the front brakes will lock up. It does it when I turn both ways. From all of the blogs I have read I am leaning towards replacing the power brake booster, but I could really use some advice from someone who has experienced or heard of this problem.

Thank you.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JIS001
  • EXPERT
The only way I see the booster doing that is if the master cylinder were leaking and the booster was sucking in the fluid. Do these and let me know what you find. Pull the master cylinder forward and inspect the inside of the booster for fluid. If there is brake fluid inside then replace both the master cylinder and the booster. Also wind in the booster push rod 3 turns to see if that helps.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
I would look at the caliper hoses to make sure they are not looped this will cause the problem. The caliper needs to be turned so the hoses are not looped.
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Monday, February 22nd, 2021 AT 11:38 AM (Merged)

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