What Causes Front Brakes To Lock Up Brakes (Locked Up Car Wont Move)

What Causes Front Brakes To Lock Up(Locked Up Car won’t Move)

Last updated on January 13th, 2023 at 08:24 pm

Have you ever experienced brake lockups while driving? Situations like this are always very scary, especially when you are driving on a busy or slippery road; you could be exposed to a lot of danger and unforeseen risks. It’s worse you are moving at 65mph on a highway and your car brakes begin to malfunction.

Identifying faults in your car can be very difficult, especially if you are not familiar with mechanical systems, leaving car owners confused and frustrated as to what causes front brakes to lock up (locked up car won’t move).  

 Interestingly, this circumstance is quite easy to control, but if you don’t know what to do, then there be a lot of problems. You might just end up pumping the brakes continuously without seeing results.

Different cars work in different ways, and some brakes respond differently than others, but generally, most cars utilize the same mechanism to function so identifying the cause of locked up brakes should be relatively easy with the help of a professional and a thorough check-up. So what causes front brakes to lock up (locked up car won’t move) in the first place?. There are a lot of mechanical reasons attributed to this but firstly, lack of proper brake maintenance is usually the primary cause.

How to fix locked up brakes

Every car comes equipped with a fully automated Anti brake system (ABS). When they fail to function optimally then your brakes will definitely seize or lock up. The fault usually arises from the brake caliper. This is how to fix locked up brakes with damaged calipers.

Before you start, ask your mechanic how to fix up locked up brakes to be clear on the instructions. Check the caliper pistons for damage. Remove the caliper from the disc and pump the brake pedal repeatedly to push them out of the corroded area. Simply disassemble and rebuild it. Rebuilding usually requires cleaning and replacing the rubber parts and sometimes the piston itself.  Most times, the degree of damage may require you to remove and replace the caliper totally. Please ensure you do so to avoid risks of another lockup, especially on a drive.

What causes one front brake to lock up

Most car models come with brakes on all four wheels. They could be disc or drum type and are operated by a hydraulic system. When braking, the weight of the car is propelled to the front wheels so hey play a greater role in the  braking process than the rear.  Since the two front brakes have the greatest power when braking, what causes one front brake to lockup?

Well, the brake calipers are majorly responsible. The brake calipers are located at the front wheels and are prone to damage from adverse changes in temperature. If your brake calipers seize one side, the discs or drums on the other side will have to work. Which is why your car may brake feel pushed to one side whenever you apply your brakes. That is basically what causes one front brake to lock up while driving. Beware that even with constant car maintenance, one front brake could still end up getting locked up, so you need  to watch out for the signs and learn as much about your brakes.

  what causes front brakes to lock up

When a car develops a fault, getting to know about the source of that problem is usually the first step to fixing the issue so you need to know much about how your car operates to use it efficiently. Here’s a tip, during your next car maintenance, ask your mechanic  What causes front brakes to lock up, to be pre-informed.

The front brakes champion the braking process so they are usually meant to be in better shape than the rear. Here are some reasons why your front brakes may lock up.

  1. Poor use or use of wrong transmission fluids
  2. Broken brake  wheel cylinders, drum plates or calipers.
  3. Worn out caliper pistons.
  4. Damaged ABS system.

These are basically what causes front brakes to lock up.

What to do when your brakes lock up

In emergency, what to do when your brakes lock up, doesn’t always come in handy, hence the need to handle the situation carefully.

First, calm down. Do not panic or you may end up pushing too hard and damage something else. If you are on a busy road, let other motorists know that something has gone wrong by honking your horn and using your emergency blinkers. Keeping steering to a safe side of the road as your car moves slowly. Pump the brakes consistently until you get to a complete stop.

If your car does not have a ABS brakes, then release the brake pressure. What to depends on how many wheels are locked. If one wheel is hard, than it’s a mechanical fault. The brake system of your car is quite complicated so you would surely require a mechanic to fix your car. Do not attempt to fix it by yourself to avoid further damaging your car. Even if you are a bit familiar with how it works, wait for a professional to arrive before touching anything. They know what to do when your brakes lock up, not you.   

2 things to do if: brakes locked up & car wont move

Basically, when your brakes lock up and the car wont move, panicking is usually inevitable. Here are 2 things to do if brakes lockup and car wont move.

Calm down and steer your car to a safe side of the road where you can pump the brakes. Next, call your mechanic. This is very important and the safest way to fix this problem.

Do these 2 things if your brakes lock up and car wont move, be patient and your car will soon be ready.

How to move a car with seized brakes

On a highway or intersection, how to move a car with seized brakes might be very difficult but it is not impossible.

 Indicate that your car is faulty and keep your engine on by gently revving it. Try to figure out which wheel the locked brake is connected to. Apply and release the brakes continuously and shift to drive and reverse and then back between drive and reverse again.  Switch off your cruise control immediately and gradually release the gas pedal so that your car stops speeding. Change gears and fix your car in a “2” to “1” steering. Keep steering the wheels till you are out of the road and in a safe place. If you can, check beneath your dashboard for corrosion or rust and call your mechanic for help.

Car model and situations may differ but this is the best way to move a car with seized brakes.

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