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Freezing Brakes - Taurus

My wife and I live in South Carolina but still have many friends and family in the colder reaches of New York State. Spirit Airlines runs many low airfare specials, but once we get there, the cost of a rental car is crushing.

We have a solution, but like everything else in life, for every solution there is a new problem. The solution is that we own a 2003 Ford Taurus with 130,000 miles which runs like a champ. It is a third car and we could easily leave it on the streets in New York and have it available when we fly in. The specific streets I have in mind have no alternate side of the street parking. Therefore I could leave it there for months at a time without worry of being towed or ticketed. The problem is that this model seems to have a design defect which causes the brake pads to freeze (actually rust) to the rotors when it is not moved several weeks. Sometimes they will break free on moving, but sometimes they can REALLY freeze up.

My question is do I give up on this concept or is there a technical solution (ceramic pads?) short of choosing a different car?

Thanks for your help.

I can’t answer your question about the brakes, but I do wonder about a few other points that you might not have considered. First, if your registration expires when you’re not there to replace the sticker, then the car might be towed at that point. Second, if South Carolina has inspections, you won’t be able to have that done easily. Third, you might want to run this idea past your insurance agent to make sure that storing the car in a different state from your house doesn’t affect your coverage in any way.

Tauruses are not the only vehicles that have this problem.

Couldn’t some of your friends and family drive the car periodically. This would be better than having it sit unused for months at a time. Cars do best, and last longest, when they are driven on a regular basis.

If someone could start and drive the car for 20-30 minutes every three weeks or so it would really help the car.

If the car sits unused for months the battery will go dead, and you’ll have to fool around with it every time you want to use the car. Cars that don’t move often become homes for rodents, which nest under the hood and can cause lots of damage chewing the insulation on wires.

I suppose ceramic brake pads might make a difference as far as the brake rust problem. I’ve never used them so I don’t know, but they shouldn’t rust.

I think the other issues are more worrisome than the brake issue.

I’ve probably owned over 100 Tauri over the last 20 years and have never experienced this issue with any of them. Some of my cars have sat for long periods too. I’ve seen rust on the front rotors after a rain. Shoot that’ll happen with any car. Has this actually happened to your car? If so, I’d suspect a frozen slider on a caliper or a colapsed brake hose that lets fluid thru under your pedal pressure, but won’t let it escape once you let off the pedal.

As for your idea, unless you have a friend or relative who will move the car for you on a regular basis, you can expect to have it towed away as an abandoned vehicle after just 72 hours. Your out of state tag will be the first give away that it doesn’t belong there. Once you bail it out of an impound yard, you’ll think those rental fees are cheap.

We are back and forth regularly so keeping up with registration should not be a problem. South Carolina does not have vehicle inspection. Storing a vehicle is a relative term. There are plenty of snopw birds who regularly keep a car in another state for months at a time.

Thanks for your thoughts. If there are conceptual flaws, I would rather explore them on the front end.

The car had been my son’s company car. We bought it when they decomissioned it in 2005. It sat outdoors for about 6 or 8 weeks while all the paper work was completed and the the bakes were frozen solid. We eventually broke them free, but it was work.

I have had another car in New York for a summer while we flew back and forth several times. It had South Carolina Plates, but nobody in New York pays attention. If I can get by the brake problem, I will probably register and insure it in New York.

I will check into frozen slider as the potential problem source. The Front rotors do rust big time.

Thanks for your thoughts