Rear Wheel Drive - One Tire Frozen

My wife has a 2004 Hyundai Accent. This morning when she tried to leave for work only one wheel spun, the other dragged behind. What’s going on? Brakes, CV joint, transmission …??

Sounds like a stuck rear parking brake. Does this have shoe brakes in the rear??

If she drove on wet roads last night and it got below freezing last night, then water could have gotten into the brakes and frozen. Just to be clear, you are talking about one front wheel dragging, right?

the Accent is front wheel drive and I will assume that the road was icy and possibly nothing was wrong with the car, or as suggested by Mike, a rear drum brake is dragging. But on ice very little drag is needed to prevent a non driven wheel from turning.

Thanks, guys. As far as freezing is concerned, we live in San Diego and although we did get rain yesterday the temperature here rarely drops below 40F and right now the streets are warm and dry. The rear brakes are shoes.

Well, then freezing rain is clearly not an issue. You still haven’t said however, whether or not it is a front tire or a rear tire that is dragging (the difference is important with regards to which systems could be at fault). I’m also confused by your post title - you know that a Hyundai Accent (like almost all cars manufactured in the last 20 years) is front-wheel drive, correct?

Yes. The rear-wheel drive post was a typo. (I’m managing my insane 2-year-old as I’m trying to do this.) It’s the right rear wheel.

That narrows it down to either the brake or the wheel bearing, if it was the wheel bearing, it would have been making a lot of noise by now. I’m going for the brake, but you will need to get it to a shop to find out.

Sometimes rear shoe brakes will stick. Doesn’t have to be cold out.

Ok, thanks.

MikeInNH, that was it. I popped the wheel off to check the shoes and the whole wheel broke free. I’ve worked on our brakes for years and have never seen this happen so thanks for the advice, everyone.

Did you remove the drum? If not you might do so to check for broken return springs or hold downs.

What do you mean, “the wheel broke free”?

Glad we could help.

I’ve seen the rear shoe brakes few times over the past 40+ years. Not often, but it does happen.

I think I’m having the same problem with my parking brake. When I pull the parking brake lever it takes a couple clicks before I feel resistance. The rear driver side wheel is locked up. I only drive the car a few times a week, and it hasn’t been cold or wet for a while now. I’ve never worked with brakes before, but I really don’t want to pay for a tow.