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Old 09-12-2007, 05:18 PM   #1
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Brakes effecting MPG?

Judging from the position of my gas guage needle to where it normally would be about this time, my FE has taken a big blow. As to why, I'm not too sure, but I think my rear brakes might be doing it. This is in the Metro..

Whenever I release the e-brake in the mornings and go, the rear brakes feel like they are stuck. They break free soon as I move, but I'm worried they might be "dragging". The car has never did this before even if I didnt move it for a week or 2. This morning was its first time moved in 3 days and it was worst than normal. About 7 hours later at school, they did the same thing but not as hard, so I dunno if they are rusting up or what. My rear drums were inspected about 1000miles ago and they had plenty of pad left. Any thoughts?

Nic
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
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They might just need the adjusters backed off a bit
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:46 PM   #3
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Hmm, its never done it before though. Adjusters wouldnt move on their own would they?
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:38 PM   #4
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Easy way to tell if they're dragging: just jack up a rear wheel and give it a spin. Rears should turn very easily and spin for a long time after you give a good shove. You'll probably be able to hear if the shoes are dragging.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:25 PM   #5
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On the drum brakes I've seen, the adjusters do move on their own to account for shoe wear. There's a spring loaded clip that rests on a gear. If they are dragging, you'll have to lift this clip while you turn the gear to release the e brake a little.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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Isn't there just a nut to loosen/tighten the e-bake cable's tension? I thought most drum adjusters were automagic these days.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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Easiest way to find a dragging brake is after a 15-20 min drive with decent speeds see if one of the rims is warmer than the others around the lug nuts. Fronts will be warmer than the back generally but none of them should be hot to the touch. Also try rocking the back wheels side to side and up and down while it is sitting on the ground it could be a wheel bearing getting ready to die. Usually you get some slack in them right before they go and you can feel it when you shake them hard. The metro has pretty crappy bushings so if you shake hard enough you can feel those so don't get carried away with shaking it.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:46 PM   #8
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The link below shows how to adjust different parking brakes. The photo on the bottom of page 3 is similar to the drum brakes on my CRX and the Nissan I owned a few years ago.

http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/brake06.pdf
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Old 09-13-2007, 07:08 AM   #9
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E-brake cables are probably sticking.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:14 AM   #10
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May also be the springs holding the shoes in place. They need to be replaced any time the shoes are replaced, as they lose strength over time due to the heat applied to the springs through normal use. When the springs are weak, the shoes will hang. Sometimes the springs break, parts go flying around inside the drum, and by the time you can get to a repair shop most of the innards are metal dust and other bits. Had this happen once, when I was 16. Brakes were the first vehicular system I ever learned to repair.
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