Trouble moving car after 7 weeks out of town


#1

I just returned home after 7 weeks abroad and had to leave my car (Honda Accord 2000, manual transmission) in outdoor parking in Seattle during that time. The car started and I could get into gear without any apparent problems, but it struggles mightily trying to move in either direction. It feels almost like the parking brake is still down (I did put the lever inside the car down) or like there is something holding the wheels in place. I got it to move about 2 feet in both directions but the car seemed so unhappy about it that I decided not to push my luck and try to go any further. I didn’t hear any grating metal sounds and the tires are full. Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be wrong and what to do about it? If it’s something easy I could fix I’d rather take care of it myself than go to a mechanic.

Thanks!


#2

Go to the front of the rear wheels and move the parking brake cable around without kinking it, both sides of the car. To see if that may be the problem, you can try pulling the parking brake lever up. If it is very easy to do, lower the lever and then try the cable trick.


#3

The e-brake is frozen. (never set the e-brake for a long period). Sometimes you can rock the car back and forth (with the brake released) and they will pop loose. If your car is in a position where you can jack it up, then block it up, then get underneath it and see if your can’t free up the rusted cable. Where the single cable from the lever splits into two cables leading to each rear wheel is a likely spot. But PLEASE, don’t crawl under the car when it’s supported on its cheesy jack!! Some spray-lube, vice-grips, a small hammer will be helpful.


#4

Does the parking brake handle feel like it has tension as when you let it loose, or does it move freely compared to your recollection. If it moves freely I would guess the parking brakes or cable is stuck on. Sometimes setting and releasing it a few times will loosen it up but do not pull hard enough to set it more. Not familiar with Honda, do they have the e brakes on the front wheels? If caddyman’s advice does not work There is probably not an easy fix. You should be ok to go to a shop nearby at low speeds depending on how aggressively you set your e brake, and it may work itself on the way over, guestimate 2 miles @ 30mph or less, stop if you smell new smells or call for a tow.