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Old 09-04-2010, 09:33 AM   #1
patchouly
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2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default L200 Parking Brake Issues

I have a 2001, L200. It's a great little car! However, when I bought it, I was unable to engage the parking brake. I would pull up on it but it wouldn't be far enough for it to ratchet. Well, I continued to procrastinate with this issue until yesterday.

So, yesterday, I decided to find out one way or the other what was going on. I pulled on the parking brake as hard as I could and actually got it to click three times. When I released the brake, the car rolled. The "parking brake warning light" was on, but the brakes weren't engaged. So, I released the parking brake and tried again. After several attempts, the brakes seemed to "partially" engage. Problem was, when I released them, the warning light went off, but the brakes were still engaged.

I got down under the car (or as much of me that would fit LOL), and sure enough, the cable to the rear driver's side brakes, was rusted. I wiggled and pulled on it and heard a tension/squeak noise. After checking the car, it seemed to have released "most" of the way ( it still seems to squeak, very quietly, a little bit).

Looking at how the cables hang down on each side and knowing that I live in Canada with it's cold winters, the rusting issue is not a big surprise.

My question (you knew there had to be one eventually, right?) is, has anyone else had this issue? Did you have the cables replaced and, if so, how much did it cost?

Thanks in advance guys! This looks like a great forum and a fantastic resource for we Saturn owners!

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Old 09-04-2010, 06:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

If no one offers their personal suggestions to fix this, pm me an e-mail address so I can send you all the FSM pdf's needed and you can choose which way to address this. Saturnfans e-mail address doesn't allow large files.

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Old 09-04-2010, 10:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

Does that car have rear drum or disk brakes? If drum, you will want to make sure the shoes are adjusted correctly, then you will want to check the adjustment on the parking brake cables.

Without seeing the cables, I can't comment on how bad the rust is, but I would take the car to an indepedent brake mechanic and ask for an inspection.

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Old 09-05-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
patchouly
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

fdryer, you have a PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyrae View Post
Does that car have rear drum or disk brakes? If drum, you will want to make sure the shoes are adjusted correctly, then you will want to check the adjustment on the parking brake cables.

Without seeing the cables, I can't comment on how bad the rust is, but I would take the car to an indepedent brake mechanic and ask for an inspection.
I don't think it's the brakes, themselves, that are the issue. The guy told me they were brand new when I bought the car. He claims they had a brake job done on it, before they put it on the lot.

What I think happened is, there is an opening in the cable's sheath, due to rust. The cable had completely seized up. When I tried to pull up on the parking brake lever, I was unable to move the sized cable so, consequently, I couldn't engage the parking brake.

After pulling it on several times, the cable must have slipped along enough to partially engage the brakes. However, when the parking brake lever was lowered, the cable didn't slide back to it's "relaxed" position. Instead, it remained partially engaged.

Then, after I wiggled the cable, it was able to release and slide back.

Of course that's all hypothesis, as I am in no way a mechanic.

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Old 09-06-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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2000 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

Although I have never had a problem with the parking brake on my car (2000 LS1), I have had with some previous cars. Rust of the cable inside a sheath is a fairly common problem. My solution for this is the same as for many conditions. Rust-Check spray lubricant/rust preventative is available at Canadian Tire. It is similar to WD-40 but is a much better lubricant and lasts much longer. It creeps and penetrates and dissolves the rust, then continues to lubricate for months.

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Old 09-07-2010, 09:04 AM   #6
patchouly
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by born again View Post
Although I have never had a problem with the parking brake on my car (2000 LS1), I have had with some previous cars. Rust of the cable inside a sheath is a fairly common problem. My solution for this is the same as for many conditions. Rust-Check spray lubricant/rust preventative is available at Canadian Tire. It is similar to WD-40 but is a much better lubricant and lasts much longer. It creeps and penetrates and dissolves the rust, then continues to lubricate for months.
Thanks "born again"! I'll check that out!

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Old 09-07-2010, 01:49 PM   #7
AJR
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

I have the exact problem with my 2002 L200 (4 wheel discs). Interestingly enough, it's also on the driver's side housing. The passenger side is still good.

I discovered this in the winter. I could not get it unstuck for the longest time on a really cold night. Water got in and froze. Luckily, I was in Cabel's parking lot. With all the camping gear, food, hunting equipment, etc., I could have camped out in that parking lot indefinitely...or at least until the credit card was maxed out.

I've not solved the issue yet. I keep it well packed with lube and the housing wrapped tightly with aluminum foil and tape to keep the lube in and at least some water out, but I know this isn't the ultimate solution.

I wonder if cable and housings can get replaced in sections. It would be nice, rather than having to replace the entire thing. I think the part alone is about 400 bucks at Saturn.

Andy

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Old 09-07-2010, 05:20 PM   #8
patchouly
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJR View Post
I have the exact problem with my 2002 L200 (4 wheel discs). Interestingly enough, it's also on the driver's side housing. The passenger side is still good.

I discovered this in the winter. I could not get it unstuck for the longest time on a really cold night. Water got in and froze. Luckily, I was in Cabel's parking lot. With all the camping gear, food, hunting equipment, etc., I could have camped out in that parking lot indefinitely...or at least until the credit card was maxed out.

I've not solved the issue yet. I keep it well packed with lube and the housing wrapped tightly with aluminum foil and tape to keep the lube in and at least some water out, but I know this isn't the ultimate solution.

I wonder if cable and housings can get replaced in sections. It would be nice, rather than having to replace the entire thing. I think the part alone is about 400 bucks at Saturn.

Andy
I called a Mechanic today and was told that he could replace, just the length of cable between the main cable and the brake (The "Intermediate" cable). That single cable will cost between $79 and $120 (labour included) depending on the type of brakes I have.

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Old 09-08-2010, 08:05 AM   #9
AJR
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by patchouly View Post
I called a Mechanic today and was told that he could replace, just the length of cable between the main cable and the brake (The "Intermediate" cable). That single cable will cost between $79 and $120 (labour included) depending on the type of brakes I have.
Interesting...please let me know how the repair goes. I now have an independent that I might take it to for this. Saturn assured me the cable couldn't be replaced in sections as it is one long piece. I was never totally convinced of that though.

Andy

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Old 05-17-2018, 10:20 PM   #10
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Dizzy Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

On my 2002 saturn LW200, the parking brakes never worked. like you I just put it off and finally got around to replacing it. 4 disc brakes front & rear..

First thought- Cables which looked rusted.. replaced both sides

Parking brake still does not work..

Further inspection, there is a spring mechanism located at the bottom of the rear disc brake housing where the parking brake cable feeds into under the bottom rose bushing.. this spring looks like a tension that pull the cable back when disengaged. Passenger side had the spring, driver's side spring was missing..

added spring from scrap yard.

Parking brake still does not work.

Next up will be taking off the rear wheels and take off the calipers and discs to visually inspect the condition of the parking brakes..

Most likely after all this above ^^ was done is that everything inside the parking brake housing will be seized and rusted to crap.. Thanks Ontario Canada.

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Old 05-18-2018, 02:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: L200 Parking Brake Issues

Please let us know what you find and how you resolve the problem. Two years ago I swapped out the rear drum brakes on my LS1 for rear disc brakes and I am so glad that I did it. The improvement in braking is significant. Of course, rust due to salted roads and related snow driving conditions are largely non-existent in Southern California.

Your situation has me curious because the parking brake system is not complex. I hope that all goes well for you in getting the parking brakes to work correctly again.

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