Car won't move after being parked for a year on incline

Hi my 2007 honda civic will not move, i made the mistake of parking it on a incline of approx a 30 to 35 degree hill with the front end higher, and i left the emergency brake on for over a year. I don’t know where to start, any advice is muchly appreciated. If i am leaving any information out that you guys need to help me, please ask, I will do my best to give you answers. Thank you

More than likely the parking brake shoes/pads are rusted and won’t release.

Unless you have the ability/tools/facility to service the rear brakes, it’s better to have the vehicle hauled to a shop and let them deal with it.

Even for a pro, rusted brakes is no picnic.



Yeah, agree with Tester. Get it towed on a flat bed (since its FWD and the rears are locked) and have the parking brake freed up.

I have even had rotors and pads lock up after an extended sit. nothing left to loose but the transmission to try and break them free.

If your Civic is like mine, the rear brake drums have threaded bolt holes on the sides of the drums you can use for pulling the drums. Figure out what size bolts you need, buy two of them, and give it a shot screwing them into the holes and tighten them down. If the drums don’t budge, you might try some penetrating oil, letting it sink in overnight, but if this doesn’t work, have it towed to a shop as the others recommend.

How can you harm the transmission by trying to break free the rear drums on a FWD vehicle?

Same as trying to get unstuck in a snow bank. The clutches slip in an automatic and you burn them up. I might do one or two momentary aggressive attempts but that’s it. Sounds like the car is still parked on hill and not movable so I don’t think jacking it up to try and pull the drums off is a good idea. Best to spend the hundred or two for a tow and a shop.

I see, you’re referring to trying to use the engine to get them unstuck. Yeah, I’m against that too.

Can a tow truck easily access rear of car to lift it? I would not like jacking up 1 wheel to pull drum on a 30 deg slope. Have truck tow it to level ground and than lift front wheels and see if rear wheels will break free with a little tug

Without more info we’re guessing. Does the engine start and run? Or is that the problem?

It does indeed sound like the brakes and wheel/drums are rusted stuck. Double check on that idea first though. Are you able to shift into neutral? Are you able to seem to release the parking brake? But even in neutral with the parking brake released it won’t move back down that hill? Are you sure there’s not something blocking one of the wheels? None of the wheels are stuck in the mud or wet sand?

unrelated probably, but I parked my truck for 2-3 months on a steep angle like that last summer due to road work in the area, and much of the transmission fluid drained out.

Okay thanks for the response. Unfortunately I don’t have the money to get it towed, so I am stuck trying to figure this job out on my own with the help of the internet. I have quite a bit of tools on hand, so unless there are some special tools I need to buy for the job, I should be set

you cant safely jack it up on incline as car might roll onto you. how do you plan on removing 1 or more rear wheels to access drums? i bet if you had a good amount of access to rear of car you could hook up a long tow rope and yank it with 2nd car. and than roll into 2nd car. would be a good video for youtube. put car in neutral and yank it and keep foot close to brake pedal to stop it before something bad happens

I agree it’s safer to jack it up on level ground, but if you chock the wheels that aren’t being lifted, it should be safe to jack it up on an incline. I’d want lots of insurance through, so I’d probably chock the wheels using ramps that the wheels would have to roll up in order to roll at all, and I might put a separate ramps under the body that would catch the car before it crushes me.

Then what do you do if you get a flat tire on a hill?


next door neighbor at our RV park sold his vintage trailer that had sat for 20yrs. had dual axle setup. he pulled it out to access road and 1 of the 4 wheels was locked. he than towed it about 1/4 mile to park entrance and it left a skid mark in road for the entire way. later that day the trailer was gone so i am not sure how he resolved it

I looked up what a 30 degree slope was, and it was alot steeper than i thought. The car is probably on only a 15 degree slope

The engine runs fine, I tried giving some gas to back it down the hill after i recharged the battery after it sitting for about a year and it would not budge. So i checked the transmission fluid and it seemed dry, so either it leaked out over time or its just not reading on the stick due to the 15 degree slope its parked on. Either way I would imagine it should roll in nuetral with out transmission fluid in it. I am thinking of hooking up my truck to the car and yanking it like some are recommending, in your guys’s opinion that should not damage anything if its in nuetral eh?

Yes, I can shift it into neutral. When i release the parking brake, I am not sure if its actually releasing or not. In neutral with the parking brake released it would not budge, I tried rocking it by hand and pushing it, but nothing. There is nothing blocking the wheels. It is parked on ashfalt

The dipstick is at the front, so that’s probably OK. You do feel the engine slow a bit when putting it in D or R, right?