Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille
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Cadillac DeVille 1985 to 2005 including:
1985-1992 Fleetwood, 1993 Sixty Special, All FWD Forum Discussion, Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; A recent thread discussed parking brake pedal issues on a 1991 SDV (I think). The OP was having to pull ...
  1. #1
    Nick93SDV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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    Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    A recent thread discussed parking brake pedal issues on a 1991 SDV (I think). The OP was having to pull the auxiliary release lever by hand and it turned out that the vacuum diaphragm was to blame. But on my 1997 DeVille, shifting from Park to Drive does release the mechanism as designed. The problem is that after the release, the pedal sometimes won't come all the way back up to the "fully unengaged" position and the brake light will remain on. When this happens, I have to give the pedal a slight tug with my shoe to get it up to the highest point and turn off the light. Not exactly a car issue on a par with a thrown rod or a cracked block but it's annoying and shouldn't be happening.

    I've looked at the mechanism (without taking it off) and there is nothing obviously wrong. I've sprayed WD-40 and then silicone lube like they were holy water but besides making the inside of the car smell like a chemical factory, the pedal travel doesn't get any easier. I assume that the vacuum diaphragm isn't to blame because the pedal does release when the transmission lever is shifted. Sadly, the massive two volume shop manual I have doesn't address this issue, discussing only the procedures for R&Ring the pedal mechanism as a unit after disengaging the cables.

    Is the pedal return a function of the parking brake cable tension? Is it possible that the parking brakes are so out of adjustment there isn't enough pull to bring the pedal back to the upright position? If the cable isn't responsible for the pedal travel, what is? My wife found a broken spring (about 3 1/2 inches long and not very heavy duty) on the driver's side floor and I'm wondering if this provided some sort of retraction assistance but I can't figure out where it might have fit.

    Thanks for any help y'all can provide.


    Nick

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  3. #2
    chubbyranger is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    Before I finished reading your thread I started thinking a weak return spring - then your wife's find reinforced that thought. Should be a diagram somewhere in FSM on how the return spring connects.

  4. #3
    Nick93SDV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    A broken return spring would certainly be the elegant and easy-to-fix answer but I have no clue as to where such a thing would go. The factory shop manual shows only a zoomed out overview of the entire parking brake pedal assembly (there are a couple of closeups\alternative views but they are unhelpful) and there is no spring listed as one of the key components.

    I checked my 1993 Sedan DeVille and there is a spring that is about the size and shape as the one we found on the floor but it's for the alternative hand release lever so that after you pull it, it'll go back to the original position. But I can't spot any other springs on the assembly for this model, though it and the one in the 1997 DeVille that's the problem do have a very different design.

    Any suggestions as to where the return spring on a '97 might fit?

    Thanks!

    Nick

  5. #4
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    If the pedal is partially returning, then the return spring must be in place and operating as designed. I'd suspect rust in one of the under car parking brake cables.

  6. #5
    Dave S Texas's Avatar
    Dave S Texas is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    I picked up my DeVille in Miami Fla. First stop for gas/food was Ocala. I parked against a curb on a little downhill slope. Upon resuming my trip, I started to back up. Nope, wouldn't back up without more gas than it should have taken, but didn't think much about because I didn't know anything about Cadillacs or this car. Trying to go forward took some throttle also and there was a 'funny' noise. Looked in the mirror and saw a black tire mark following me! (a bad sign)
    No reason to use a park-brake in flat South Florida and the previous owner hadn't. Using it being second nature to me, I had.
    Cable and actuators rusted and when I hit the pedal, everything froze! s.o.b. I had no tools and really hadn't realized wtf was going on anyway. Waitress at the cafe called someone she knew, and he finally showed up. He was able to disconnect the cables(without removing the wheels) and I was back on the road a few hours later. When I finally got home, I took off the rear wheels and saw what had happened. I remedied the problem temporarly with a bath of Snap-On penetrating fluid. Later did a complete, replace every brake part Front/Rear with new, brake job. (carbon metallic disks/pads sure stop well).
    Always use or at least exercise your Park Brake is my advice. Ya never know when it might be needed.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  7. #6
    Nick93SDV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    Just to follow-up on this thread in case someone with a similar problem does a little searching and stumbles into here...

    I never did find an obvious place where a return spring ought to be on the parking brake assembly. "Ranger's" comment that a partial return suggests that a spring of some sort is in there as it should made me think that the issue might simply be one of rust in the assembly. I lived along the California coast at the time and rust is a serious issue there. Each week for about three weeks I sprayed the assembly with WD-40 and silicone lubricant. I had done this before without any success but over the course of time, I needed to manually pull back on the pedal with the top of my shoe less and less. At some point the problem just resolved itself. Whether this was due to increased lube on the assembly or due to rust\dirt\mud in the undercar cable guides eventually working itself out will never be known but at least I don't have to deal with it anymore.

    Thanks for all the input,

    Nick

  8. #7
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    Now that it is free, use it regularly to keep it free.

  9. #8
    Nick93SDV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    The funny thing is that I've religiously set the parking brake in every car I've owned since 1973 every single time I've shut off the engine, regardless of whether I'm parked on flat ground or if it's an automatic transmission. I just suspect that something gummed up the works and eventually cleared itself out.

    Thanks!

  10. #9
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    Sometimes rust just builds up between the cable and the sheathing. If that is the case the problem will likely return and the only fix is to replace the cable.

  11. #10
    Nick93SDV is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    Might not be a problem. I've just moved from Malibu to Palm Springs with my 97 Deville and my 93 Sedan DeVille. I suspect that both cars are very, very happy about the 15% humidity and the reduced chance of any annoying rust buildup. But wait until the lovely weather that we're having right now morphs into the usual three months of 115 degrees or higher each summer day. When that happens and I'm dealing with melting electrical components and cracking plastic, I'll probably be looking back on these minor rust issues with great fondness...

  12. #11
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Parking brake pedal sticking (but not stuck) on a 97 DeVille

    Well, once rust starts, nothing stops it.

    Better keep that A/C it tip top condition. I suspect it will get a work out.

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