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Parking brake not releasing intermittently

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by efusco, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    #1 efusco, Oct 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    For probably the last two months, and maybe once every week or two and probably only when trying to back out of a spot (ie. when going from Park directly to reverse [update: or Drive]) one of my parking brakes has failed to release...the driver's side rear I'm pretty sure.

    To be clear, I've got over 59,000 miles on the car and have experience the issue of the parking brake pads sticking to the disks, particularly in the winter, but that is not what this is at all. With the sticking issue once you started driving it would break loose. In the situation I'm having the brake stays locked and drags even while backing up and if I shift to Drive it will stay locked as well and continue to drag. To resolve it I have to stop, put the car back in Park, then can go to either R or D and it is fine.

    So, rare/infrequent issue, not brake sticking, actually failing to unlock. I haven't called the SC yet as 1)They're 200+ miles away and it is more of an annoyance than a problem, and I have my next regular service in about a month or so and was planning to have it addressed at that time. Posting here for others who might later experience something like this and to see if anyone else has had the issue and what resolution was arrived at.

    edit:
    Here's the video:
     
  2. pgiralt

    pgiralt Active Member

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    I had an issue where one of the parking brakes would not engage at all. The car actually displayed an error saying that the brake was not engaged and to be careful because the car could move on its own. Ended up being a defective brake mechanism on only one side and got replaced.

    Maybe they only display the error in the case where it fails to engage.
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Interesting, perhaps you're right.
     
  4. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    #4 efusco, Oct 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Update: I probably need to call Tesla tomorrow. Today this occurred again (had happened last night too) so I suspect it's becoming more frequent. This time it also occurred when I put it in drive (as opposed to reverse as I thought was the trigger in my original post). This time I recorded a video as soon as I noticed that the brake locked again. You can see from when it is in drive, listen to the squeal when I try to drive, then see it resolve by doing the dance of Park then Drive again.

    Tesla Model S Parking Brake Malfunction - YouTube
     
  5. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    #5 Cyclone, Oct 9, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
    Ouch Evan. I have no clue what the actual problem is not any advice, but it would sound like whatever mechanism pushes/retracts the parking brake is failing intermittently.
     
  6. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    As usual, Tesla called me before I had time to call them this morning. Set up for a visit next week, full report to follow.
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Got my car back from service. They do not disassemble the brake caliper, so cannot definitively confirm that there is a mechanical issue that cause the problem, but their diagnostics did show abnormal spikes in the signals that trigger and control the worm drive that closes and opens the calipers in the left rear parking brake assembly so it is almost certainly the problem. The tech speculated that this is possibly related to a lubricant failure or something similar causing the worm drive to stick when the car is put into D or R. Then when put back into Park the high energy spike broke loose the sticking worm drive and then it would release more easily when put back into D or R again. He had not previously seen this issue and they replaced only the side I noted the problem on and that showed the abnormal energy spikes on diagnostics. He told me he wished I'd have recorded the right (passenger) side as well just in case it was also having issues, but I didn't think to do that for a couple reasons... 1) I was driving the car so no easy way to do that alone, and 2) I felt the pulling from the left rear only (not that the right rear might also have been partially locked). Hopefully all is well and the right side won't be an issue.

    As an aside, they updated my 12v battery jump post to the latest design and did a wheel balance/rotation for a mild low/moderate speed shimmy I had. All warranty (extended).
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Same exact problem appeared 3 days ago, managed to fix it by trial and error as you did. Occurred again yesterday, same drivers side rear wheel; car is going in for inspection tomorrow. Coincidentally, I'm also over 60,000 miles.
     
  9. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Interesting, I haven't had this issue for a long time now (now at about 70k miles).
     
  10. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Some pieces broken off the brake pads caused the lock-up. Service says this can happen if the car is standing for too long, especially if wet beforehand....However, in my case the car had been at the airport the previous week for 5 days and then I'd driven it 60 miles home (in the dry) the night before, doesn't really account for the repeated problem but new pads seems to have fixed it in any case.
     

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