Since couple of days ago my car started to feel a bit more sluggish on initial launches and when i park it on a very slight slope with no handbrake pulled and gear in neutral, it doesnt start to roll away it just stays stationary even though it is on a slope. However when driving i dont hear any sound coming from the brakes and car does not pull off to either side when driving and while braking its still going straight ahead. Could i have sticky brakes? If i had one sticky brake i would imagine that car would not be going straight but it is going straight so i am not sure if i have sticky brakes. Maybe the main brake line going to the rear brakes is collapsed a bit and acts as a checkvalve and prevents brake fluid to return to reservoir so both of my rear brakes stick a bit by same amount so that my car can still go dead straight without pulling off to one side? Or could my handbrake be causing this issue? By the way my car has drum brakes at the rear

1 Answer 1


After a drive of more than a few minutes, carefully feel for the temperature of each wheel with your hand. They should all be about the same temperature. If one is substantially hotter than the others, the brake for that wheel is probably dragging. If no wheel is hot, your brakes are not dragging, or not dragging much.

A brake can drag a little, just enough to keep the car from rolling freely, but not enough to make the car swerve to one side.

One or more brakes in the rear could be out of adjustment. One or more front calipers could be sticking.

One common cause of dragging brakes is the internal collapse of the rubber hose between the hard brake line and the brake caliper or cylinder. This can allow brake fluid into the brake mechanism under pressure, but it acts like a one-way valve that retains brake pressure. The easiest way to diagnose this is to step on the brake hard, release the pedal, then slightly crack open the brake bleeder for each wheel. If brake fluid shoots out under pressure, that's the sign of a bad brake hose.

  • I'd suggest your feeling the brakes is not a bad idea, however, the front brakes will most often be noticeably hotter than the rear brakes because the front brakes provide ~70% of the braking force for the vehicle. Per axle the heat should be about the same, but not front to rear. My guess here is that one or both of the rear brakes are sticking. Mar 18, 2023 at 1:38
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 That's true. However, in my experience if one takes a drive for the purpose of finding the one dragging brake and doesn't intentionally use their brakes to excess, by the end of the drive three wheels are more or less ambient temperature or barely warm, while the offending wheel is definitely hot, even too hot to touch. The last time I did this, a non-contact thermometer read 380F! That one turned out to be a stuck caliper on the rear.
    – MTA
    Mar 18, 2023 at 3:23
  • @TimothyScherer - I see you've marked this as the answer. If it has helped you to solve your issue, please consider upvoting as well. Mar 18, 2023 at 10:34

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