Parking brake not releasing - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 06:25 PM
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To say I am angry and disappointed is an understatement. Since I have bought my 2001 325Ci as a certified used car with 55000km on it 3 months ago, I have had the parking brake seize 4 times. I brought it to the dealership twice and had the brakes serviced twice. The last time I was in, I dealt with the service manager himself and he investigated the problem for me. He found out that the parking brake was indeed not serviced when it went through it's certification service like it was supposed to and so he appologized to me and had them make an adjustment on the parking brake. They made the cable much tighter, so now 2 clicks of the parking brake handle is as far as you can pull the parking brake at all and it's on full blast. I didn't like this change, but figured if this would stop the brake seizing problem, then that's fine.

All times but this time, I was able to use the engine to muscle the parking brake off and it would eventually release with a large bang sound. This time, it won't release at all (probably because the parking brake is on so insanely tightly). And since it is in my garage, I only have the option of putting it in reverse....and I don't want to gun the engine up so high that if the brake does release, that I go flying out of my house. The garage is narrow and I'd clip my mirrors almost for certain if that happened.

So I call Roadside 'assistance' and they said that all they can do is send a tow truck to my house and tow my car to the dealership. However, all dealerships are closed on the weekend so nobody would be able to look at the problem until Monday morning. This is bullshit. To make matters worse, I was also said that if the towtruck happens to damage anything on the car, it's not covered under warranty and would actually void my warranty. I couldn't believe my ears. What kind of roadside assistance is this??? I have never heard of this before and it makes no sense to me at all.

They also said that because my car broke down in a 'safe' zone and is less than 80km from my house (it IS my house), that they only cover up to $100 in car rental/taxi coverage. This is utter crap.

They either need to:
a) have a mechanic on call that would come to the car and fix it
B) have a complimentary car given to me for the weekend free of charge until they can have my car fixed on Monday

Needless to say, I am very disappointed in BMW for how they have this portion of their company setup. I am also disappointed that this problem is reoccurring. The story I have received each time is that the parking brake will seize anytime you put the car away wet. This is crap. They originally said that it's rust that forms....but how can rust form in 12 hours....and especially enough rust forming that the engine cannot force the brake to release??? I don't buy this story for a second.

What are my options here? I'm to the point where I want something drastic....like give me another used car of the same model/km level or my money back. I'm sick of this and if this problem is going to keep happening, then I don't want a BMW anymore. I'd be better off with a used Geo or something. The Geo may not drive nicely, but at least it drives :P

What do you think?
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-24-2004, 06:28 PM
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So as it stands now, my car is still in my garage and I'm stuck at home until Monday when I can get it towed or something.
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-25-2004, 08:51 PM
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So before I go into BMW tomorrow to tear a strip or two, I want to know if anyone else has had a problem with their parking brake seizing to their car after putting the car away after washing it (and therefore having wet rotors). Is this a problem with all BMWs or is it limited to my car only?
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 12:01 PM
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The part about the wet rotors and rust is utter bullcrap.......i wash my car twice a week almost :P never thought that would rust my rotors.......although never use my hand brakes to park but I am sure it should work. It scares me to think that BMW certified vehicle would have such problems and they would not do anything about it. I was thinkin of gettin my car BMW certified but having doubts about paying so much for the same crap any insurance company would give me. Cant yu just not use the hand brake? Is that necessary or does it jam even without being used.......do any indicators come on? YOU SHOULD GO AND BUST A FEW STRIPS THERE.....threated legal suit and even give them some french ...... just so that they know youre a disgruntled customer.......I am sure BMW will not want any bad publicity for there vehicles........good luk to ya bud.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 02:53 PM
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I agree that the rust theory is crap. There is something binding in the parking brake and it is not from rust. I have a 2000 with alot more miles on it than yours and have had no problems with the hand brake (which I set every time I park the car). Go raise a little hell at the dealer and call BMW NA (I believe it's the same for Canada) demand that it be fixed since it seems that you have been in at least twice for the same issue in a short period of time.
Ben

"It's not because I'm an aggressive driver, it's because I'm an idiot" actual quote from my wife.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 07:30 PM
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After raising a ton of hell on the phone this morning before bringing it in, I got BMW to tow me in and would cover any damage the tow did to my car. I don't know if you knew that if the tow did anything to your car, it's YOU that has to pay....even when BMW's Road Side Assistance ordered the tow for you.

Anyway, even with all my hell I raised, the car didn't get looked at today so I'm without my car for yet another day. At least the wheels were still seized when I got there and the service manager himself couldn't get it to move. Disturbingly, I smelled smoke from my engine (not the burnt clutch smell that is normal for trying to drive in a car with the brakes fully on), so I am getting them to look at that too. If any damage is in there, I am NOT paying for it. If they refuse to pay for all of the problems, then I am going to bring this case to arbitration and we'll see about either getting my money back, or by getting another car of equivelent value.

On a sidenote, I used my drycleaning hooks in the car for the first time on Friday (before my weekend of hell began) and it broke . Also, my tint is bubbling again (for the 3rd time since I got it tinted 3 months ago).....which leads me to believe that the tinting place that BMW Toronto uses (Picture Perfect Motoring -- owned by Mo Pete of the Toronto Raptors) doesn't know what they are doing. Don't use them.
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 07:35 PM
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Oh, forgot to mention that my car is still in there and will be there for another day at least because they didn't even look at it today!!! I mean, what do I have to do for them to look at this problem? Bring in a machine gun?? Kidding. Anyway, Crap Car Part 3 starts tomorrow. Who knows what crazy adventures are in store for me.
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 10:53 PM
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Well, losing your cool is not going to help anybody, especially yourself.

I would carefully log (date, time, event) everything that has happened. Write down exactly what was discussed. Let the dealer see you making records and have them repeat what they say so you can 'correctly' write them down. Ask specifically for their names and ask them to spell it out for you. Asking for their business card is good too. If you are going to fight this, then you need evidence, man. And neatly kept records speak much strongly than impassionate speech.

Then, when your car has/has-not been fixed to your satisfaction, inform the manager of your dissatisfaction and what you intend to do. If the response is still not to your satisfaction, write a lovely complaint letter to BMW NA, BMW Canada, and CC the dealer president, manager, and service manager in the same letter.

Politely state your problem, state what you expect from BMW, and ask for response in timely manner. If response is not received, then its time for legal actions.

That's how you should approach this problem. Not with anger.
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#9 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 11:14 AM
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Just talked with the service manager and he says that my parking brake shoes need to be replaced. He then shockingly said that the service technician I originally dealt with a month ago or so said that I refused to have them take my wheels off the car so they could inspect the parking brake itself. Ummmm, what? I told the manager that I would never have refused anything....especially the most logical course of action in dealing with the parking brake. I asked him if that made any sense to him and he agreed and said "he would get to the bottom of this". I think the service technician I dealt with is just trying to save his ass or something.

Anyway, car is still in the shop and they are working on it today at least. If they ask me to pay for these brake shoes, I do not know if I will be able to keep my cool because one would think during their (apparent) thorough certification process, they would actually inspect the parking brake...
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#10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 11:35 AM
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I totally forgot about one of the best parts about this whole adventure.....the getting the tow to the dealership.

After speaking with the service manager on Monday morning and explaining my problem, he said he would take care of it and called Road Side Assistance for me. They called and said they were sending over a tow for me in the hour.

3 hours later, the tow arrives. It's the wrong kind of tow truck. It's not a flatbed one....just a regular winch one. I told the tow guy that it can't be towed like this and it requires a flatbed or something because the wheels cannot be touching the ground at all. What was his response you ask?

him: "If you wanted a #*&@#$& flatbed, you should have specified".
me: "Ummmm, excuse me? I didn't place the request for the tow. It was requested by BMW Toronto....and I don't appreciate your attitude."
him: "So, do you want me to tow this thing or what?"
me: "Hang on a second"....and I dial up the BMW manager again to explain the tow situation. The manager asks to speak to the tow guy
me: "the BMW manager wants to speak with you on the phone to ask you something quickly"
him: "I'm not talking on the $@*&#(*$&@ phone.....it's not in my job description and I don't care"
me: into the phone "he is refusing to speak with you"
manager: "ask him if he has a dolly to put the wheels up"
I ask the tow guy.
him: "Sigh. I guess I could put the dolly on it"

If I didn't need to get to work so bad, I would have told him to go away and I would have waited for another tow. However, I kept my cool, and said ok.

Now the problem of getting it out of my narrow single car garage without damaging it.

him: "I can't get the dolly around it while it is in the garage so I will need to drag it out"
me: "What do you mean drag it out?"
him: "I will hook the back of your car and pull"
me: "Won't that damage something?"
him: "Probably"
me: "Well you aren't doing that then are you!"

So I go into the house to go talk to the manager about this again, and when I came back out, the tow guy had lifted the back of my car up with his t-bar thing and had driven down my driveway pulling my car out. I spoke to the manager about this and he said that if he had damaged anything, that BMW would pay for it. So I said fine. He then puts it up on the dolly wheels.

So we start the 45 minute drive to the dealership and he starts to light up a cigarette. I told him that I have emphysema (sp) and cannot handle second hand smoke. His response? "This is my truck and that's not my @*#&(@#$ problem"....and continues to smoke. We were on the highway at this point and were about 15 minutes from the dealership so I just rolled down the window and stuck my head out the window slightly trying to restrain the urge to stick the lit cigarette somewhere in his body where he wouldn't appreciate it.
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#11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 02:01 PM
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ya some people are just assholes and need to be or
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#12 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 04:24 PM
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REALLY I mean I know the tow truck people arent really a civilized lot but cursing at a customer like that?????? Maybe after this bad case of hand brake is fixed you could register a former complain to BMW against the company who owns that piece of S**T tow guy and get him fired or sumthin. Man is it just you canadians or is just yu.......yur stars seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hope eveything works out for ya bud.
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#13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 06:35 PM
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Ouch, man. Forget about keeping your cool! I cannot stand cigarette smoke. Especially in a car. In my car, forget about it!

That is one rude tow-truck driver.
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#14 (permalink) Old 07-29-2004, 03:39 AM
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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep us updated on this. I feel sorry that you're going through all this, but my God -- what a GREAT STORY!

Absolutely unbelievable... I wish you luck!
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