TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Frozen Brakes (with video)

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by yobigd20, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    #1 yobigd20, Dec 24, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Well I had an interesting issue today. I went on vacation for 5 days (had to take the ICE car, couldn't take the Model S, was on a time constraint and I would have needed a supercharger in Allentown or Scranton PA for that). Anywho, the MS sat garaged for 5 or 6 days. After returning from my trip, I went to back it out of the garage and the front brakes were totally frozen. At first I thought the parking brakes wouldn't disengage, but then I realized this was the front wheels only and the parking brakes are only on the rears. I had called ownership and asked if there were any tricks to "unfreeze" them. I wasn't sure if there was some sort of software-lock that needed to get reset, or if it was literally just physically frozen. The Tesla rep I spoke with basically said it's probably just frozen due to cold weather and scheduled a tow. So I hung up and basically just thought to myself 'well if there is no software lock in place here and its just frozen, I wonder if I could just rock it back and forth and snap them'. The video below is just showing how they were locked when attempting to back out. The brake pads were literally frozen to the rotors?? I didn't record my attempt to "unfreeze them", but after rocking the car back and forth over and over again the brake pads finally unfroze from the rotors and now it is drive-able again. So, just thought this was interesting. I've never had this happen before on any car. I still need to call and cancel that tow now....lol anyone else have a similar issue like this?

     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Texas
    It's well known that if there is water on the brakes the pads will stick to the rotors. From the video it appears that your garage floor is pretty slick. My guess is that if you backed out onto the driveway the rougher concrete would have broken them free. To prevent this from happening next time, somewhere close to home put the car in neutral and brake from 40+ mph. That will heat the brakes up enough to evaporate the moisture.
     
  3. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,636
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    wow.
    that looks a little scary pulling back in at the wall
    glad it never gets that cold here. was there any signs of rust between the pads/rotors?
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    if you watch again, when I back out you'll see a yellow parking bumper on the concrete. I can come in at a slow but decent speed and it's enough of a bump to stop the car from going further unless i'm really hauling ass into the garage lol :)

    and yes, my rotors are always very very rusty. guess I don't use them enough with the regen.
     
  5. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,556
    Location:
    Northern California
    Interesting, never seen this before!
    I got a but nervous when you pulled forward toward the wall :)
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    LOL that's funny. Goes to show you how much power this car has - can just drag the wheels along the floor!

    I've had that happen, but not with my Tesla. An SUV I used to own got one front wheel frozen while parked at the office. Luckily the parking lot was almost empty, because when I tried to back out I ended up doing a donut. Couldn't break it loose because the ground was too slippery. Had to get out and turn the hub locks (it was an old-style 4x4). That broke it loose!
     
  7. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,499
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
  8. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    6,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    This happened to me on Monday for the first time (this is my second winter with the S). My case wasn't as bad: the car didn't drag any tires before the rotors broke free (and no, it wasn't just rust: I know what that feels like, and this took a LOT more power). But it sure did startle me.
     
  9. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    the simple things ... i'll try this next time!! thanks :)
     
  10. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    451
    Location:
    Camas, WA
    Was it below freezing in your garage? If not, then it's more likely that they were stuck because the rotors were wet and the pads stuck to the rotors when they dried. Happens to me almost every night. Hair dryer won't help if that's the case.
     
  11. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Redding, CT
    Happens to me all the time, usually after washing the car and backing into the garage. As others said, it's rust. Nowhere near as significant as what you show but the sound/feel of them breaking free is disconcerting.
     
  12. Frode

    Frode New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Just throw a bucket of hot water over the calipers/discs next time, and drive with brakes after to generate heat so things will dry up
     
  13. AMN

    AMN Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2013
    Messages:
    210
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Interesting. I've had this happen on an M5 but not on the Model S.
     
  14. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,886
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    You are not able to drive with the brakes on in the model S. The brake pedal will overide the accelerator.
     
  15. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,499
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    I've never seen brake rust freeze a rotor so much that you could drag it back and forth like that. Sure, it'll stick and you have to give it a little gas to break it free, but the OP's video looks like something other than rust.

    A bucket of warm water will certainly do the trick if it's iced, but there's some risk of thermal shock warping or even cracking the rotor if the rotors are super cold. A hair dryer has the advantage of slowly heating things up.
     
  16. Frode

    Frode New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Dont think the rotors get warped with such small temp differences (20c) but completly different story on a racecar where things could rise to 500c
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Even then actual warping is rare. More often you get an uneven buildup of pad material if you overheat the brakes, and that is what causes the vibration. I had that happen once with my S2000, and all it took to fix it was putting on more aggressive pads and then doing a dozen hot laps.
     
  18. Frode

    Frode New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Yes, uneven pad transfer, onepiece discs (hub / rotor in same piece) and master-slave calipers with one piston tends to create issues with warped discs, atleast tesla have proper brembo calipers with equal squeeze on both sides of discs
     
  19. Cal1

    Cal1 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2013
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Battle Ground WA
    This is actually the first and only thing I've seen that has me really concerned. Lived in Colorado for 20 yrs, AK for three and WA for over 15 yrs. Driven in lots of snow/ice conditions and I've never seen this before. Of course I've seen rotors rust and stick for a minute but they ALWAYS broke loose. Even at 40 below. There is something wrong here.
     
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,886
    Location:
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    #20 Lloyd, Dec 26, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
    We see frozen brakes in aircraft. It usually happens when a plane departs in wet conditions and then lands in freezing conditions allowing the soaked pads to freeze to the rotor. Some aircraft vent heated air to the rotors to keep them unfrozen in these conditions. It would help the tesla if you were able to heat/drag the brakes slightly prior to parking. With our lack of use i'm sure that they are being parked wet and in the proper conditions will freeze to the rotor. If you were to make severals stops using the brakes prior to parking im sure this would not be a problem.

    Mercedes will send pulses to the brakes to keep them dry and warm. This would be not be effecient in an electric vehicle.
     

Share This Page