Sticking rear calipers and parking brake

Dave Defferding MstrBlastr at
Sat May 30 21:15:24 PDT 2009

I agree with Bernie, check the cable operation.  I replaced both of mine as
over time, they wear thru at the 90 deg bends near center of body/rear axle
and get rusty/stick.  For some time I carried a hammer with me and a pad,
and knelt down, tapped the return post on the parking brake cam, each time
the brake was set.  This was especially problematic in the winter.  New
cables solved the problem.  The return spring on the P-brake is not strong,
so all parts have to be in good working order for the p-brake to release
properly.  With the brake cable removed from the P-brake cam, you can turn 
with a vise grip/pliers and test operation of that/lube at same time.

Reg the brake lock up issue:  I almost bought a 5000Q that had been stored
for a few? years, was like new, low mileage one owner, etc. etc.  Took it
for a test drive and suddenly the brakes on all 4 started to grab.  Barely
made it back to the dealer and rotors were very hot.  I believe that's a
symptom of old brake fluid, master cylinder gets warm, then warmer, and
sticks, then the brakes lock up and as heat builds the situation gets worse
until car can't be driven.  My suggestions are:  replace P-brake cables, and
get a good flush of the brake fluid.

Dave D
'91 200Q w 144K on the clock

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bernie Benz" <b.benz at>
To: "Scott Gilman" <scottegilman at>
Cc: "200q20V mailing list" <200q20v at>
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2009 2:17 PM
Subject: Re: Sticking rear calipers and parking brake

> First you must determine if the problem is in the caliper or in the
> parking brake cable. BTDT the latter. The best way to do that is to
> unhook the cable from the caliper and operate the lever by hand to
> determine if it freely returns to its stop. If so on both sides, you
> need to replace the cable.
> Bernie
> On May 30, 2009, at 12:48 PM, Scott Gilman wrote:
>> Reading a post to the forum from Peter reminded me about my '91 200 TQ
>> and persistent sticking rear calipers, usually as a result of the
>> parking brake being engaged.  These days, the car is rarely used since
>> we live in Manhattan and part of my free parking arrangement through
>> work, is that the car cannot be taken out of the garage often.  In my
>> area (UWS) it's about $550/month for a parking space.  I've had the
>> car since new and the rear calipers and an assortment of problems
>> related to the rear brake have occurred at least 4-5 times over the
>> years.  Now, to the question, is there any way to re-build/replace the
>> OEM rear calipers with something that won't stick.  The front brakes
>> were replaced with an big brake kit from 2Bennett in CA.  The rear
>> calipers get so stuck from the car sitting for weeks at a time, that I
>> have to gun the engine to launch the Audi and unstick the calipers.  I
>> try to keep car kept in gear, without the parking brake being set, but
>> being that this is Manhattan the garage jockeys on occasion have to
>> move it around once in a while, they usually forget my instructions
>> and engage the parking brake.  The biggest and most persistent problem
>> over the years has been the rear brakes.  Any advice on a recommended
>> shop in the NYC area (within 50 miles) that has experience handling
>> this type of problem would be appreciated.  A month ago, while on the
>> New Jersey Turnpike, the rear brakes started sticking and I guess the
>> brake fluid got too hot and basically shut down the brakes, the pedals
>> went to the floor without effect.  Waiting an hour resolved the
>> problem.  A garage checked over the brakes and nothing had seized but
>> they did notice signs of rust--and they recommended that the car be
>> driven regularly.  As noted above, that can't happen.
>> Scott
>> NYC
>> 1991 20V TQ
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