Automotive

Car feels 'stuck' after winter storage?

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  • Jul 17th, 2015 6:05 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Aug 23, 2013
1235 posts
69 upvotes
Vaughan

Car feels 'stuck' after winter storage?

Hello everyone.
I have an 01 Subaru Impreza AWD manual transmission that I use for the winter and I finally decided to take it for drive around the neighborhood and it felt very 'stuck'. By this I mean that I felt like I had to give it more gas than normal for it to move. It does not even roll back on my driveway in neutral unless I give it gas in reverse. Could this be from sitting for so long? I only started it in the winter but never actually moved it. Some family friend said its the clutch but I highly doubt that. Could this be due to the brakes and rotors needing to be changed? The brake and rotors and all rusted.
10 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
29578 posts
15415 upvotes
Ottawa
Just drive it around a few more days and it should all loosen up.
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2010
2647 posts
1008 upvotes
GTA
It's probably a stuck brake. If it doesn't loosen up after trying to reverse/forward a few times, your safest option is to get it towed to get the issue solved.
Deal Addict
Dec 30, 2007
1005 posts
185 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Did you set your parking brake while it was parked?

A couple years ago I parked my Dodge Caliber in our driveway after returning home from work, and as usual, I engaged the parking brake. The next morning we left for a two week vacation. Upon my return my car would not budge, forward or reverse. I tried many times myself and nothing. I eventually called for roadside assistance to have it towed. The truck driver arrived and he tried a few times himself and it eventually got it to move. After I told him how long it was parked, he informed me that the brakes had "seized" in place and had not released even though I released the parking brake. The brakes eventually broke free, allowing them to fully release. The advise given was to not engage the parking brake if the vehicle will be parked for any period of time.

Just last week we returned from our annual two week vacation and I had not engaged the parking brake. The first day or so while driving the car you could certainly hear and feel the friction being caused by the surface rust that had accumulated while it was parked.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
29578 posts
15415 upvotes
Ottawa
It's a hit or miss and varies on how well your garage is insulated from the outside.
I always engage my e-brake (manual transmission) for the past 14yrs and have never had the brakes seized to the point of requiring replacements.

Now in my new home, the inside of the garage is sloped and even using wheel chocks, I still pull the hand brake.
Deal Addict
Dec 30, 2007
1005 posts
185 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Mine was parked outside in our driveway. Apparently the idea of using our garage to store the car is blasphemy.
Deal Addict
Feb 9, 2008
2363 posts
173 upvotes
vkizzle wrote:
Jul 17th, 2015 10:47 am
I always engage my e-brake (manual transmission) for the past 14yrs and have never had the brakes seized to the point of requiring replacements.
No, but I've had it seize to the point of having to rev the engine hard to get the pads to break clear of the disk (with a loud crack as the rust buildup gave way). That's why I stopped using the parking brake if I was leaving the car for a week or two.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
29578 posts
15415 upvotes
Ottawa
movieman wrote:
Jul 17th, 2015 1:02 pm
No, but I've had it seize to the point of having to rev the engine hard to get the pads to break clear of the disk (with a loud crack as the rust buildup gave way). That's why I stopped using the parking brake if I was leaving the car for a week or two.
That's pretty extreme.
Mind is parked all winter long (from beginning of Nov and usually to May) and haven't had that much resistance.
Car is still parked right now, planning to take it out next month and we'll see what happens.
Deal Addict
Dec 30, 2007
1005 posts
185 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
movieman wrote:
Jul 17th, 2015 1:02 pm
No, but I've had it seize to the point of having to rev the engine hard to get the pads to break clear of the disk (with a loud crack as the rust buildup gave way). That's why I stopped using the parking brake if I was leaving the car for a week or two.
That is exactly what I experienced, minus the loud CRACK.
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User avatar
Jul 26, 2007
4463 posts
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Toronto
I did this few times and have to service my brakes each time because of excess rust.

1st time was 6 months and 2nd time was 12 months.

On 2nd time, had to grind the rust off caliper bracket because the pads were seized on rusted rails on the caliper bracket. Changed the pads and rotors. On 1st time, just needed to change the pads. Both time thought the problem was the e-brakes, but wasn't.

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