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Robert, UK Qualified Car Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4716
Experience:  Fully qualified / self employed garage technician in the UK
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Whilst driving my car at the end of a 70mile journey, I stopped

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Whilst driving my car at the end of a 70mile journey, I stopped at a shop and noticed a burning smell - not engine oil. I drove the car 2 miles home and it felt like the handbrake was on. It only just about crept along when in drive from standing start, and when I parked up on a gradient, the car would not roll forward when in neutral. Not sure if gearbox or axles are the source of the oil smell. The car has done 197k, gearbox oil is cherry pink, I can see any oil marks on the ground. Any pointers appreciated.


Hopefully i can help..

Ok..If the vehicle remains at a standstill on gradient in neutral means its likely the one of the brakes is possibiliy holding on or stuck/binding need to fully ensure that handbrake is releasing if the cables are stuck or the handbrake mechanisim is still applied even thought the handbrake is released would give exactly the experiance you describe by holding the vehicle need,get vehicle on level ground in neutral/chock the front wheels and try to jack up the rear to get both wheels off the need a substantial trolley jack/axle stands to do that and then with the handbrake released try and turn the wheels by hand..if one or both is stuck then thats your problem..the handbrake.and will be a case of removing the wheels and strip down the handbrake mechanism.release the cable and feel if it binding by pulling the end with a pair of pliers and have somebody in the car work the handbrake so you can see if the cables stuck or not...the same process needs to be done on the front too to check for binding calipers..but as it sounds by your be checking the brake system front and back for binding or seizure on the handbrake mechanisim before moving on to anything else drivetrain wise..If you unable to check those areas your self..then any good reputable mobile mechanic considering the vehicle is undriveable should be able to carry out those checks for you..I do hope this helps

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your prompt and helpful reply - at least its not gearbox or diffs! Strangely enough, I tried moving the car this morning ( from cold) and it all worked ok. I'll get a mobile mechanic to look ( as I am unfortunately not that mobile myself!)

Many thanks


Hi..there thanks for your reply..

Certainly the first places to inspect as per the brake system/possible issues with brake holding in the on position wether it be mechanically related or hydrualic in regards ***** ***** no able to return when the brakes faulty brake hose for example.. but as above best place to start before condeming anything else.... Also please dont forget to rate my assistance above most appreciated..if you have anything else to ask then just continue after this post if required..regards Robert

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