Parking Brake & Leaking Brake Caliper Question - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Parking Brake & Leaking Brake Caliper Question

Hello experts. I have a two-pronged question about brakes. I have a 2017 GT with 21K miles on it.
A couple of months ago, I parked on a hilly street where the nose of my car was pointed downhill. At that point, I decided to try to use the parking brake for the first time ever since owning the vehicle. I pressed the parking brake pedal with my left foot and when the pedal seemingly hit the lowest point it could go, the red BRAKE indicator light on the dashboard came on. But as soon as I removed my foot from the pedal, it seemed to come right back up to its original place (wasn't depressed at all) and the red BRAKE indicator light went off. I thought maybe I hadn't stepped on the pedal hard enough, so I tried it a couple of more times stepping even harder on the pedal each time, but the same thing happened where the indicator light would go on when my foot was pressing the pedal all the way down, but once I removed my foot, the pedal bounced right back up and the indicator light went off. I'm assuming that the BRAKE indicator light would stay illuminated on the dashboard if the parking brake really were engaged at least while the ignition is still on, is that correct? Or does the indicator not necessarily stay illuminated even if the parking brake is engaged?
I got paranoid thinking that maybe the parking brake was actually on even though the red light indicator didn't stay illuminated and perhaps I drove the car with the parking brake on for heaven knows how long over the last 2 months. I mean it didn't feel like I was driving with a parking brake on, but I've read stories where people have done so unknowingly and that it's sometimes not so obvious. I did hear some very faint squealing noises while I was driving on a couple of occasions (but I truly don't even remember whether it was before or after the parking brake incident) and also because those random sounds faded within a few short minutes each time it happened, I didn't pay much mind.
Now the second part of my question. This morning, within a couple of minutes of starting my drive to work, a chime and indicator on the dashboard lit up saying "Brake Fluid Low". I took my car for service (as it was due for routine maintenance anyway) and had them check out the brakes. They found that I had a leaking caliper. Parts have been ordered and my car will be in the shop for a couple of days. It is under warranty. However, I'd like to know what would normally cause a leaking caliper? Is this something that would happen within less than 2 years of ownership and the mileage I currently have? Do you think the seemingly malfunctioning parking brake issue had anything to do with it? Or are these two totally unrelated issues? Thanks for any insights!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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You should always use the parking brake with both a manual or an automatic transmission. Otherwise one of these days you'll happen to park your car and either have someone come into the store to tell you your car has rolled away from where it was parked and hit another car, which happened to me but fortunately there was no damage and in fact the guy whose car my car hit didn't even want to exchange insurance info; or there will be a time you pull in to a parking space, slip the transmission into park, turn off the engine and quickly run into a 7/11 store only to come out just in time to get chase after your car before it rolls backwards into a busy street. Try chasing down a run away in this case a Dodge D200 pickup with a large coffee in one hand and a large pastry in your mouth. The cab driver in his cab parked next to my vehicle I think must still be laughing.

As for the leaking brake caliper it is not that common but it happens. Generally a seal fails. This is why there is a new car warranty to cover early failures of things that generally once beyond a certain age/number of miles rarely ever fail.

While you are getting the caliper replaced have the parking brakes checked for proper adjustment/operation. It is possible if something is found wrong it too will be covered by the warranty.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the helpful advice. And for this laugh. Hysterical!

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Originally Posted by Rockster View Post
...quickly run into a 7/11 store only to come out just in time to get chase after your car before it rolls backwards into a busy street. Try chasing down a run away in this case a Dodge D200 pickup with a large coffee in one hand and a large pastry in your mouth.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:30 AM
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It sounds to me like you are pressing the parking brake too hard/far when applying it. If you do that, it will "release" it. The brake light on the dash is normal when the brake is applied. Try pressing it, but not so hard/far. It should stay on it's own when you remove your foot and the brake light should stay on. Then when you want to release it, *then* you press it hard/far so it releases.

Sounds like normal operation to me....
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