So, last night saw temperatures dip well below freezing and I parked in shaded place (this will become relevant). This morning I drove about half a mile to school and noticed a very strong burning rubber smell when I stopped. When I was driving, I thought it felt strange, like there was a resistance to my movement forward. I tried the car at lunch time and it was all fine, no smell or resistance!

Is it possible my handbrake was frozen on? Or something else frozen/wrong?Is there anything else I should be concerned about or shall I just leave it?

Temperatures are expected to drop very low again tonight - should I park on flat land and leave the handbrake off?

It's a Golf Tdi se, mark 5 (2005 reg), so pretty old!

Thank you in advance.

  • How's the clutch?
    – DamoC
    Feb 27, 2018 at 18:34
  • Certainly sounds like a frozen parking brake.
    – JPhi1618
    Feb 27, 2018 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


The smell may have come from a well heated tire, due to a stuck handbrake.

And yes, leave the handbrake off. Also, check its function and have the pads replaced if it doesn't work well any more. Maybe they are worn out now.

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