The car is a Nissan Almera (N15) -99 with a 1.6 L gasoline engine. It has been standing still for over a year and some rust has developed on the brake rotors.

The car has been standing under a roof but since it wasn't in a completely closed garage the rear of the vehicle might have gotten wet during the rain. That's the only way I can explain why the rear brake rotors have accumulated more rust than the ones in the front. The car does not have drum brakes. I tried driving in and out of the parking space a few times and it seems like the brakes are stuck. Driving back and forth a few times somewhat alleviated the problem but the brakes are still somewhat stuck. I can't drive the car on the road for now since it's not registered.

So my question is whether pulling the handbrake while driving would help getting rid of the rust. I'm not sure how exactly the handbrake works - does it simply brake only with the rear tires?

  • I recently replaced just one of my front rotors and no matter the weather or the direction I park my truck, the new one rust significantly more than the other one. :/ Oh, well. The rust gets scraped off by your pads in the first few feet of use; it's usually no big deal. It sounds like you have a problem with your rear calipers and the rusted rotors are irrelevant. Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 22:00

3 Answers 3


If you have light surface rust, just driving around and using your brakes normally is a better way to clear it. If however the rust is pitting and flaking the rotors, you should just jump to Step B and replace them.


All the handbrake is doing is using the caliper to bring the pads together on the rear brakes. I don't know if the Nissan Almera is any different than the vast majority of other cars, but most have the emergency brake on the rear brakes.

The only way I can see this being helpful is if something is wrong with the brakes besides them being stuck, and the pads are not coming together properly when you press on the pedal. In that case you can't drive it anyway because it's unsafe.

So, except for the case above, the handbrake isn't really going to be any more helpful than just pressing on the pedal.

Hope that helps!


No;in fact if the hand-emergency-brake hasn't been used regularly you could lock the rear brakes up. Or at least cause them to wear out prematurely from rubbing against the inside of the wheel. This happened to me several years ago.

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