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Brakes freeze up when parked. Previous cars didn't do this.

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by KKlabunde, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. KKlabunde

    KKlabunde Member

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    If I don't drive my S for a day or two, the brakes freeze up while the car is parked in my garage. When I start rolling, they break free pretty violently -- loud metallic snapping sound, and it takes a little power to get rolling through it. No other car I've owned has ever done this (maybe after sitting a week they would get a little stiff, but nothing like this).

    Any thoughts, or a way to keep the calipers from locking up while parked?
     
  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Is your S 'rode hard and put up wet'? The only time I've had the brakes stick was one morning after washing the car; and even then, I wouldn't call it a 'violent' event.
     
  3. KKlabunde

    KKlabunde Member

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    I don't drive it hard, and am quite conservative (most of the time). I rarely even use my brakes thanks to the regen (maybe that's the problem). A typical day is 120 miles round trip. Although it has been raining quite a bit around here lately, and I drive some messy back country roads on my way home. Maybe wet road grime is contributing, combined with not using the brakes to clean the pads and rotors off before I park?
     
  4. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Anybody know if the rotors/pads have a tendency to oxidize when wet? My guess is you're feeling the parking brake pads break free; those are the only calipers that would be clamped closed when parked.
     
  5. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I've had this happen also, but agree not a big event, and the parking brake calipers are the culprit. ONLY occurs after washing, and it sits in the garage overnight for me. It is reproducible.
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    KKlabunde, I think your guess is right on. Roadster owners have discussed this problem on the forums before, and there may have been a Model S thread too (or maybe that was the local PNW owners list).

    But in any event, things get wet, and the rotors don't get heated like on ICE cars because if you are driving nice, you are using regen rather than the brakes. So the downside is it can stick at first.

    Some owners intentionally speed up close to home and do a hard stop to help clean it off. Others do that after leaving and experiencing the sticking just to make sure there's no crud left behind.
     
  7. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    A typical day for me is 45-50 miles and I've left mine for a couple of days at a time more than once, and never had this happen.

    - - - Updated - - -

    P.S. But not a ton of rain around here.
     
  8. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    This happens to me every once in a while, and can confirm that it's the parking brakes oxidizing (rusting) to the rotors. Not a huge deal--just let 'em break free.
     
  9. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    This happened a lot on my Audi S4s. Big exposed rotors + plus metallic brake pads + water = stuck brakes. Just break them free and drive. Nothing to worry about. Comes with territory for high performance brakes.
     
  10. rekoh

    rekoh Member

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    had a ranger out for a different issue today, and asked about this issue. He said hte same thing as Todd Burch... it is a little rust. no biggie. Just break away.
     
  11. KKlabunde

    KKlabunde Member

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    Thanks, All. Good to know I am not tearing anything up. Will try to clean the rotors off with the braking as I get to my driveway...
     
  12. ksdprasad

    ksdprasad Member

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    +1

    this happens to me on my Porsche 911. nothing to worry.
     
  13. Jason

    Jason Member

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    All performance brakes will do this.
    My Nissan GTR would do it also. The paperwork I had to sign when buying the car actually had this warning listed, think it was on page 2 of 3 pages of things you have to accept (or 'live with') to own the car :).
     
  14. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    I had this problem on my Roadster and it destroyed a set of disks and callipers when the pads disintegrated while breaking free. Tesla replaced everything under warranty but I've taken the precaution of never using the hand brake when parked, and always 'drying' the disks/pads by heavy braking before putting the car away in the garage.
     
  15. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    My GX470 parking brake sticks so badly that I can hardly get the car moving the first time after a wash. I have developed a technique where after I wash the car, I drive it around the block and apply the parking brake lightly to dry things off. I then don't use the parking brake in the garage after the wash. Unfortunately with the Tesla, the brake is applied automatically. I have tried pushing and holding the shift lever to apply the parking brake while I am moving to dry the brakes. Doing so at a low speed seems to work fine. I have not had the sticking so far. Just go slow and not hold it for very long. A couple of revolutions of the wheels will do the trick.
     
  16. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Interesting. I've been having the same thing happen routinely. Like, uh, daily.

    Thought nothing of it at the time; the parking brake release has been slightly violent on some previous cars I've had.

    The area is wet, so the car is nearly *always* put away wet.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well, I guess I may be doing that at some point!...
     
  17. rdalcanto

    rdalcanto Member

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    There is one way you could avoid it.... Use wheel chocks, put the car in neutral and power off so the parking brakes don't touch the wet rotors when you put her away wet....
     
  18. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

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    I've had this happen on my Prius. It's extremely rare though. I can only think of 1 occurrence this past year and I think it was after I'd rinsed off my car the day before.
     
  19. odpadoc

    odpadoc New Member

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    Parking Brake "Sticking" When Wet

    On my Model S P85, 1 month old with 500 miles, the day prior drove the car for the first time in a rainstorm, and parked in the garage overnight, and the car sat parked for about 24 hours.
    My garage floor is race deck plastic floor tiles which pools water, so the car was parked on a wet floor. When I went to drive the car, the car would not move in R or D. It felt like there was an obstacle to the car moving. I shut the car, did a power off via the console. Upon restarting the car was fine. This scenario played out a few more times after the car sat after getting caught in the rain until I diagnosed that the parking brake mechanism would somehow be stuck. I called Tesla and spoke to the service manager in Tampa. He assured me that it is normal for the parking brake to "stick" after getting wet and it is OK to push on the accelerator to break the sticking.

    About 2 weeks ago I brought the car in to be detailed. The car was washed and parked on a cement floor for 4 days without being moved. When I picked the car up and attempted to drive it in Reverse to back up out of the garage bay the parking brake stuck so severely that it seemed like the entire rear end lifted itself up and the car shimmied across the garage by about a foot. Both the detailer and my 16 year old son were witness to this and could not believe it. The detailer thought, as I, that this cannot possibly be good for the car.

    A few times the sticking was milder and it did not take a whole lot of acceleration to unlock the parking brake but you could clearly hear an unpleasant noise of metal breaking free of metal. It was unnerving to me as a driver and would be very unnerving to passengers in the back seat.

    Are any fellow Tesla owners experiencing any similar sticking or lack of disengaging of the parking brake after the car is getting driven in the rain and allowed to sit?

    The service dept. also mentioned to engage the parking brake while driving in a safe area at a slow speed to "clean" it but I've not done so yet.

    I'd actually like the car inspected on a lift to see if any damage is occurring to the parking brake or rear axle, or to see if this issue can be repaired would be even better.

    I'd appreciate any input anyone has regarding this issue. Otherwise I love the car and would gladly purchase one again, but find it hard to believe this is a normal occurrence in a
    car costing over 100K, or a car costing 20K for that matter.

    Thank you for any input.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was able to search the Forum and found a thread on this exact topic named Brakes Sticks.
    There are several posts under that thread confirming this issue, but would still appreciate anyone's experience dealing with this.
    My detailer has never seen this occurrence and has detailed hundreds if not thousands of cars in his same garage under identical conditions.
     
  20. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    @odpadoc: Try reading up-thread here (I merged the threads).

    This is the link to the other brake sticking thread: Brakes-sticks

    While sticking is not completely uncommon, your sounds a little extreme and I've personally never experienced it. Seeing as it sounds reproducible I'd head over to Tampa Service and show them the problem.
     

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