Suggestions for preventing rear E-brake lockup

Brett Dikeman brett at
Thu Mar 21 01:13:59 EST 2002

At 1:11 AM -0500 3/21/02, Jobe Tichy wrote:

>Is this common on midwest Audis with all of the salt and crud?

It's common on just about all Audis, period.  Almost every Audi made 
up until mid-90s has these problems.

>  Is there any preventative maintenance you can suggest, whether 
>cleaning out the cam or otherwise?

Fred Munro has some excellent instructions on, including 
recommendations on anti-corrosion gunk to help slow down future 

>   Should I avoid using the ebrake and use it only when necessary?

No.  Consensus is that the brake should be used as much as possible, 
otherwise things get rusted up, and then when you actually -need- to 
use it, it locks up tight.

>   Does the cam return spring need replacing after several years?

Nope.  Rust forms usually in the shaft.  See Fred's instructions, but 
bear Kneale's note about piston corrosion in mind.  You might want to 
simply take a weekend and tear one of the calipers apart.  The 
trickiest part from what I seem to remember is getting the circlip 
off at the base of the shaft inside the caliper(the one that actually 
pushes the caliper in+out, not the vertical shaft.)  I believe the 
person who had the most luck used a set of cheap, and very long, 
needle nose pliers with the tips filed small enough to go into the 
circlip holes.  An easy modification if you have a bench grinder or 
mototool, for sure...I think the standard circlip tools either don't 
reach or aren't tough enough?

>   I don't think the sheathing broke on the ebrake lines because 
>after pumping the hell out of the brakes, I was able to get the cam 
>to loosen up and now everthing is fine--I just don't want to deal 
>with this again so if there is anything to do, I'd appreciate the 

It is still possible the e-brake cables have rust in them, but 
usually this is indicated by the e-brake handle changing 
characteristics...the release will feel differently.

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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