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Rear Brakes do not fully release only when below freezing

2008 Ford ranger 4x4 fx4. Rear brakes drag just enough to notice, only when temp out side is below freezing. Replaced drums and shoes. stopped using emergency brake. Had wheel cylinders inspected.

Have the fluid flushed with fresh fluid. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and that could be the issue,

Could be the flexible rubber brake hoses are collapsing. Allows brake fluid to be pushed into the wheel cylinder when pushing the brake pedal, but not escape when the brake pedal is released. More common of a symptom with discs b/c there is no big return spring, but I suppose it could happen w/drums too.

Could be the metal/metal surfaces where the shoes rub against the backing plate need a cleaning and a fresh coat of brake lube too. You may just have to start replacing stuff. I’d start with the flexible rubber hoses if I had this problem on my rear-shoe’d truck. If that didn’t work I’d lube the shoes and replace the wheel cylinders and the automatic brake adjuster gadgets next. I

That can happen with drum brakes.

You’ve got a solid mass of cast iron that makes up the brake drum. When this gets cold it shrinks. The brake shoes by themself don’t shrink as much so they stay in their basic relative position. This then causes the brake drum to come in contact with the brake shoes and the brakes slightly drag.

Once the brake drums heat up from use or the ambient temperature gets above freezing the drum brakes no longer drag.


+1 for @Tester . I learned very quickly that using your parking (emergency) brake when temperatures got down below freezing was a bad idea especially if you had drum brakes. In Northern Maine…it was common to see people using portable aircraft heaters to thaw their brakes so they could release the parking brake in order to leave the parking lot. The only time that I did this…I just got a ride home and waited until the next day to get my truck.