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cube 3/15/2010

2002 Toyota Camry LE 4 Cyl 2.4L


What can cause one rear wheel to lock up?

My wife parked the car in parking lot in the morning. She started the engine in that evening without anything abnormal to her. When she tried to drive, the car moved very slowly and skidding in a slant direction. Also the ABS light came on. She later realized that left rear wheel was locked up and didn't spin at all while the other three wheels seemed to function normally. We called a flatbed truck to tow the car to a mechanic closeby with the bad wheel on a special dolley. But when the mechanic checked the car, it drove normally and no problem was found after tires, wheels, and brakes were examined. His theory was that the brake might have reset after the tire was lifted off the ground. We are still uncertain whether it may happen again. It'll be disastrous if it happened while we're driving on the highway.

1 Answer


HouseCallAuto 3/15/2010

I would say with high probability that the parking brake cable became stuck in the on position. Your wife must have actuated the parking brake when she parked it and she probably even released it but the cable did not release on the side that locked up. And, the many times I have seen parking brake cables become frozen (Camrys too) I have also seen some of them release with just the slightest disturbance (like raising the tire off the ground and then setting it back down). The key here of course will be your wife remembering whether she did in fact put the brake on. It is a hard thing to remember after the fact. The ABS light came on because the ABS computer "saw" the three wheels moving and "saw" the left rear not moving and it set a code and turned on the light which would be normal for those circumstances. I'll bet that if you have your mechanic check the left rear parking brake cable condition he will find it to be in poor condition probably with a kink or a break in the outer casing in one spot.

Kevin - HouseCall Auto Mechanics


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