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Brakes freeze open in the cold

The past couple years on really cold days the brakes on my 2002 Mazda Protege 5 freeze open upon the first couple uses pulling out of our alley and driving down the road. Typically, the first two pushes on the brake pedal are fine and the brakes kick in, but the couple after that the brake pedal will not depress, and of course, the brakes don’t come on.

I let up, stamp on the brake pedal and it seems to work then. After say a dozen pressings on the pedal it’s fine for the rest of the day. This only happens in the early mornings after it’s been sitting and freezing overnight.

Today however, I couldn’t engage the brakes at all after I’d driven it around the block, I slowly coasted the car to a stop in front of my house, but the brakes would not engage. The pedal will not depress at all.


I’m confident that when it warms up, they’ll be fine.

Is there water in my brake lines?

BTW, I’m talking about 1 degree F for air temperature today. Usually it doesn’t have to be that cold, 10 degrees or below usually, but today was really chilly for the area.

There could be some moisture in the brake system, which is freezing in the lines. I can’t think of anything else that would cause this. Have the brake fluid replaced. That should flush out any moisture that might be in the system.

I hope you’re not driving the car this way. This is very dangerous. The brakes could freeze again while the car is in motion, and when you need them they won’t work.

Have the vehicle towed or otherwise transported to a mechanic.

No, I definitely don’t drive the car when it’s doing this. I start becoming leery of it when the temperature drops below 10F. That’s when it starts doing it.

This afternoon it should be fine since we’re getting up to 15F here. I’ll have it to the shop this week. Thanks for the tip.

Have you ever changed the brake fluid? It is well past due and the primary reason you change the fluid is to remove the moisture that collects in the system and can freeze when cold or boil when hot, both of which are very dangerous.