Brakes lock up

Tiny
PINKYFLO
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 CHEVROLET TAHOE
  • 0.8L
  • V8
  • 10,000 MILES
My brakes lock When I turn.
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 AT 9:48 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That is not much information to go on. What are the symptoms? Do you have to turn fully to the side or just part way? What do you do to get the brakes to let go?
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 AT 9:52 PM
Tiny
PINKYFLO
  • MEMBER
Turn fully. I have to put it on park then back to drive. So it can drive it.
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 AT 9:54 PM
Tiny
PINKYFLO
  • MEMBER
I have big rims on it and I made a u turn and the brakes lock.
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 AT 9:55 PM
Tiny
PINKYFLO
  • MEMBER
Hi when I made a u turn my brakes lock. I had to put it on park then back to drive. What could it be?
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 AT 9:58 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You did not list if it is a four wheel drive. If it is, a common problem that shows up when turning is a binding outer front universal joint. That will stop some vehicles and it will force the steering wheel back to center.

Obviously tires that are too big could rub on the inner fenders, but you would hear that. Also, simply straightening the steering wheel would solve that.

The next thing is to determine if this is a mechanical problem or a hydraulic problem, meaning trapped brake fluid. Typically trapped brake fluid only occurs after the pedal was pressed, then the brakes stay partially-applied, they get hot, the trapped fluid heats up and expands, and that applies the brakes harder. To locate the restriction, which is usually caused by a rubber flex hose, you have to stop on a slight incline, shift to neutral, place a block about a foot downhill of a tire, (so you don't look funny running after the vehicle), then you open the system at various places to see where the fluid is being trapped. Caliper bleeder screws and the steel lines at the master cylinder are the easier places to do that.

Mechanical problems that let the brakes lock are usually caused by rear drum brakes. A parking brake cable rusted tight in the partially-applied position will cause those shoes to grab the drum and self-apply. Backing up will let them release, but that doesn't have anything to do with turning the steering wheel.

Some vehicles have "bump stops" which are mechanical blocks that limit how far the steering system can be turned. If those have rusted off or were removed, over-turning can cause binding.
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Thursday, June 2nd, 2016 AT 10:48 PM

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