Locked Wheels in a Garage


My daughter has our 2004 Taurus parked in a parking structure. This car has recently had the 30K service at a Ford dealer. It was driven on 08/19/07 and ran well on a rainy day. After that, my daughter moved it to another spot on a higher level. Three weeks after that, when she tried to drive it, it would not move.

She called AAA to have it towed to te Ford dealer.The tow truck driver told her that the wheels were locked and he could not tow it. They tried to get a flatbed, but then realized that would not work because of the low ceiling in the parking structure. AAA has said that they can tow it if we can move it out of the parking structure. It appears that the car is stuck in the parking structure.

I would appreciate any ideas or thought on how we could get the car out, so we can get it towed to get it repaired.



i DONT run a tow truck service, but i can throw a solution out to you.

you may have to get a different tow truck!

the tow trucks i have seen usually have a set of dollys which can be put under the front wheels, so they can hook up the back end to tow it with. it requires jacking up the other end of the vehicle and strapping on the dollys, but it does work.

as far as the 'locked up" wheels; did your daughter set the parking brake when she parked it last time?
if she did set the parking brake, it may be frozen on. usually releasing the parking brake pedal, and getting down under the car and tugging on the brake cable will loosen it. (just make sure its in Park)

what did the tow truck driver try to get it to move when he came to try to tow it? anything?


It is not exactly clear what’s not working. I assume you can start the car and put it in reverse gear, right? Then what? Does the steering wheel turn? Are you saying that the rear brakes are locked and the rear wheels won’t move? More information please.


The car starts just fine; however, the wheels do not turn. My daughter tried to go in reverse first and the wheels did not move at all. Then I suggested that she try to go forward and she said that it went forward an inch or two and then stopped.


Thanks for your suggestion about the different type of tow truck. I will pass it on.

As far as the parking brake, I do not know if she had set it or not. I do know when we drove it last on, it was raining quite heavily and after that the car was probably not driven much until a couple of days ago.


It was driven on 08/19/07 and ran well on a rainy day. … Three weeks after that, when she tried to drive it, it would not move.

It is almost certain that this is the classic case of the brakes being rusted to the the rotors. Most often this can be fixed in place. Being in a parking garage does make the situation more difficult. Since I see some danger in the owner trying this I will not provide the instructions but someone who knows cars should be able to take care of it on the spot with little or no tools in just a couple of minutes.

In the future, don’t park your car with the parking brakes on after driving in the rain if you are going to leave the car in the same position for more than 24 hours.


although i didn’t mention it; what Mr Meehan states is what i was referring to:
when i mentioned a different tow truck, i was figuring maybe you would get a more experienced tow truck driver (and maybe one with a little more ambition TOO).

the tow truck driver ins’t necessarily a mechanic. but someone with a mechanics’ background would be able to figure out what is wrong with the wheels.

maybe your daughter could have a mechanic make a “house call” to the car, and eliminate the need for a tow? (this could be done at the mechanics convenience as long as your daughter meets him at the parking garage)


The parking brake is probably rusted, as you suspect. If you put the car in reverse and step on the gas hard enough, the rear wheels may break loose. This is a fairly common occurrence, and may not require a tow truck.