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97 Es300 Brakes Dragging


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Hello all,

I have a 1997 ES300. I noticed some noise from the rear brakes, like they are dragging. Sometimes when I am going real slow not even using the brakes, I can hear a groan/whine from the rear (like when you first get in your car and it's been raining, the brakes make that kind of noise). The groan/whine isn't a huge deal and doesnt happen all the time but it would be good to fix it. It usually happens at low speeds and when I touch the brakes it begins to make the noise. If I let off on the brakes it still makes the noise as the car is rolling slowly, but once I stop and go again it usually doesnt make the same noise.

However the dragging noise is there all the time. I took the pads and caliper off the wheel and turned the passenger rear disc by hand and I could hear something making contact. This is definitely the noise im hearing all the time. When I drive over a bridge or between two buildings you can really hear it good. Is this something to do with the parking brake system? Is it possible for the rear shoes to be dragging? I didnt have time today but this weekend I plan to pull the rotor off and inspect the components, but wanted to gather some info first as to what it might be.

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The parking brakes are a conventional drum brake inside the rear rotor. From reading your post, it sounds like you have mechanical experience and that you probably have worked on drum brakes before. The only difference with this parking brake, as opposed to a hydraulic activated drum brake, is the cable. Besides the normal things to look for, you also what to inspect the cable for corrosion, or damage to the cable housing, things that would prevent the shoes from retracting fully.

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Hello all,

I have a 1997 ES300. I noticed some noise from the rear brakes, like they are dragging. Sometimes when I am going real slow not even using the brakes, I can hear a groan/whine from the rear (like when you first get in your car and it's been raining, the brakes make that kind of noise). The groan/whine isn't a huge deal and doesnt happen all the time but it would be good to fix it. It usually happens at low speeds and when I touch the brakes it begins to make the noise. If I let off on the brakes it still makes the noise as the car is rolling slowly, but once I stop and go again it usually doesnt make the same noise.

However the dragging noise is there all the time. I took the pads and caliper off the wheel and turned the passenger rear disc by hand and I could hear something making contact. This is definitely the noise im hearing all the time. When I drive over a bridge or between two buildings you can really hear it good. Is this something to do with the parking brake system? Is it possible for the rear shoes to be dragging? I didnt have time today but this weekend I plan to pull the rotor off and inspect the components, but wanted to gather some info first as to what it might be.

Sounds like the parking break is dragging, Apply the parking break all the way and release 6 - 8 times as they are self adjusting. Try this and get back with us.

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Thanks for the replies. It has been years since I have had a vehicle with drum brakes, but I do recall how they operate and I should be able to fix the problem.

When I pressed the e-brake, the pedal travels to the floor but it feels like it has little resistance. With the brake all the way on, the car will still roll smoothly, so I suspect that the cables are not hooked up, or the brake components are damaged. I will be able to find out more when I tear into it this weekend. I will post back with my results. Thanks again for the pointers.

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