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Chrysler Repair/'96 Sebring brake dragging problems

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Question
For a number of weeks my brake pedal was very low. I parked one night in my driveway and the pedal was low as usual. I came out the next morning and the pedal was way UP! The brakes were dragging so bad I drove only five miles and preparing to replace the upper a arm I removed the front tire. The rotor was so hot it was blue. Hours later though, the blue had faded, so they didn't get fully cooked. Later I read on the net when Ford's and GMs have this problem they pump the brake 40 times and it releases the pressure in the ABS accumulator. I pumped mine like that, and returned to my vehicle two days later and the brakes had released. Now the pedal feels as though I had a brake job done. The pedal is up where it belongs and braking is good. Three questions, did the brakes actually release because of my pumping the pedal or did they just release on their own. What caused them to lock up? Will they lock up again if something isn't done with the system? I do have ABS, but the light never came on during this problem.

Answer
Hi Don,
I assume that you have checked the level of brake fluid in the reservoir.
As to the locking up, I would set aside the ABS for the moment because of no warning light. I can't give an opinion about the 40 pumps.
As to brake dragging I would wonder whether all four brakes were dragging or one or two.
There are two common reasons for dragging. The calipers may not be sliding back and forth slightly as they must do to apply and release them. You could try checking the ones that were locked up and clean their sliding surfaces and lube them with s bit of silicone grease. Another reason for a brake to drag is when the lumen of the rubber hose between the caliper and the metal brake line becomes degraded such that the brake fluid is impaired from back-flowing out of the caliper so it continues to apply the pressure. Were that the case you can replace the brake hose.
Finally, if you haven't replaced the brake fluid in the system that would be worth a try as it may be contaminated with moisture/degraded over all the years in service.
Roland

Chrysler Repair

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Roland Finston

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Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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Advanced degrees in Physics/bruised knuckles

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