Cold outside, brake pedal frozen [Archive] - Nissan Xterra Forum

Cold outside, brake pedal frozen

12-14-2008, 05:28 PM
Hi Boyz,
Emily here, I have a 2002 Xterra SE 4 WD, it's gotten very cold outside the last night or two and my brake pedal is frozen (can't push it down). I let the engine warm up and if I press really hard, it will finally begin to work. This happened in years past when it did the same thing. My "mechanical" step father doesn't think there's moisture in the lines as the brakes work fine once the pedal breaks loose. Any ideas? Thanks!


12-14-2008, 05:31 PM
i dont know whats going on... lets let one of the others answer that ?

on a side note welcome to the club....

12-14-2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks, I hope someone will answer my question ...........

12-14-2008, 05:52 PM
they should be able to..... while you are waiting why dont you post up some pics of your X....

12-14-2008, 05:54 PM
I don't have any. It's Shocking Blue, kinda ugly.

12-14-2008, 05:58 PM
I posted one of me ..........

12-14-2008, 06:00 PM
where is it at????

scratch that i found it...

12-14-2008, 06:02 PM
Albums .......... how do I make that my picture that shows up with my post? These things are hard to work around in .......... Still no reply to my initial post

so, what do you think?

12-14-2008, 06:16 PM
Welcome to the club.
How could shocking blue be ugly on an X!
Maybe the brake pedal just needs some lubrication inside the cabin or the linkages in the engine compartment.
If the brake pedal feels stuck though make sure to inspect for linkage damage or binding.

12-14-2008, 06:20 PM
I'll have my step dad check that. Well, thanks, guess I'll log off.

12-14-2008, 06:30 PM
Ice between the brake pad and rotor? Freezing cold weather sticks brakes.

12-14-2008, 07:58 PM
My guess is the same as what James said. The front disc pads may have frozen to the rotors (moisture on cold rotors + moisture on cold pads = ice welded brakes) As to what to do to prevent it from happening... not real sure. Pour a bucket of warm water over the brakes? I dunno... kinda stumped.

12-14-2008, 08:03 PM
actually as soon as you start to roll it should break free and it shouldn't take long for the rotors/pads to heat up. I would recommend against pouring hot water on freezing brake components as it could make things worse but I'll defer to those who live with the big snows.

12-14-2008, 08:05 PM
Boy, I don't think I have ever heard of this problem. But, if there was moisture in the calipers or rear wheel cylinders, the heat generated from the brakes could unfreeze it then as it sits over night it could freeze again. Just a thought!

12-14-2008, 08:25 PM
My first thought would be to drain and bleed all the lines, check at the petal and linkages for moisture. Perhaps moisture behind the master cylinder?

Unless you are only driving a block and a half twice a day, you'll heat up the rotors - drums to evaporate all the moisture in there. If you really think it's moisture in there try dragging your brakes at 30 mph for about thirty seconds (get them good and hot) then drive for a solid minute without touching the brakes (let them cool), then avoid driving through the big puddle at the end of the driveway before you park.

12-14-2008, 08:27 PM
I'm thinking What James said is a possibility. Although I've never heard yet, of it anything is possible.

Does it rain alot in your area making it easier for water to get ontot he pads and freeze up over night?

It is possible moisture is in your fluid and its making it actually freeze up but it would take alot of moisture over a long period of time. Unless your master cylinder cap has been left off for extended amountsof time which would shorten the amount of time it would take for alot of moisture to get into the brake fluid.

Brake fluid is hyrdoscopic and attracts moisture naturally so over time no matter what happes it will get moisture into it, lowering the boiling point of the fluid and making it possible for your brake fluid to freeze if enough moisture gets into it. If you check your fluid and it isn't clear or amberish in color then I'd get it flushed soon. Weather that solves your problem or not it can't hurt to know your brake fluid is in good condition.

BTW Welcome to the club!

and your nuts if you think Shock Blue is ugly. that was the BEST color nissan ever made the Xterras in. If I had the cash I'd buy a second one in that color in a heartbeat.

12-15-2008, 01:52 AM
I'm guessing (only A guess) the vacuum lines might have frozen over and she's not getting any boost. Most anyone, even a little gal (just kidding!!!) can press the petal hard enough to break frozen drums or rotors. While running.
BUT...Is it true you coldies in Canada and such don't set the parking brake to keep if from freezing? :eislaufen-big::zunge-festgeklebt-b:frozen-big:

Creepy Cruiser
12-15-2008, 02:34 AM
I was just going to say, (but Ed-Terra beat me to it, lol), try not setting the e-brake, that can cause the rear to lock up frozen and it's a huge pain to get unstuck, lol.

Also like others said, it never hurts to flush the lines with new fluid.

And welcome to the club!

12-15-2008, 05:54 AM
I love shock blue, Welcome to the Club!! :wink-big:

12-15-2008, 08:03 AM
Welcome to the club!

12-15-2008, 01:39 PM
Welcome aboard.

I would suggest flushing the brake system so any traces of moisture in the brake fluid is removed. Other than that I am suspecting the booster but have no idea why it should be freezing.

12-15-2008, 07:16 PM
Welcome to CX!

12-16-2008, 12:34 PM
Agreed on not setting the e-brake.....

What usually happens is I have to go forward, and backwards a few times to unfreeze them on a Semi. I would do a brake service. Could not hurt.

12-29-2008, 03:03 PM
i'm driving 2002 Frontier XE, is exactly the same problem, feel dangerous, and happened below 25c degree, dont know why, my brakes were flushed

12-31-2008, 11:34 AM
It sounds to me that there is moisture getting into the booster.

02-12-2009, 05:16 PM
This happens to my 2001 Xterra SE-X everytime it's near or bellow 0 (anything under 10F).
Pads are not stuck to the disks because you can roll and she'll stay stuck for awhile. I start it up and gentrly pump the breaks until it breaks free and you feel the vacume kick in. I heard someone say something about break fluid being hydroscopic and that makes sense.... I just bought mine and haven't bled the fluid yet.

In regards to the parking break I had that problem a couple of times. I had some ice build up on the "linkage" where the cable breaks into 2 and extends out to the rear wheels. Luckily I had a heat gun. I sat under there for 20 minutes melting the block of ice.

Sorry to chime in so late. I'll report back after changing the fluid and see if that helps. should get down to zero a couple more times this winter.

02-13-2009, 10:09 AM
BUT...Is it true you coldies in Canada and such don't set the parking brake to keep if from freezing?

This is more of a maintenance issue for those of us who live in colder climates then being in Canada.

I haven't used my P-brake in about a year and a half because it had started sticking. Mine is an Auto though, so I wouldn't be using the P-brake that much anyways.

Basically what happens is you get a bit of moisture in the cable linkage, and then everything starts to freeze up. You can usually get the brake to engage no problem, but then when you pull the handle to release it, it doesn't release, and you're stuck dragging a rear brake for a while.

And although it's more common in colder climates, I'm pretty sure that this sort of thing can happen anywhere, not only in the land of ice, sled dogs and igloos, eh?

Now, as for the brakes being stuck, I have had this same problem, although for me it has happened after starting up the truck and already moving. My suspicion, and I haven't had the chance to confirm it yet because it's :kalt-big: outside, is that the slide pins on the caliper itself are getting a bit stuck because of moisture and lack of lubrication.

If you get the chance, do a general service on the brakes (dissassemble, clean, inspect, lube, replace etc). That, along with changing the brake fluid, will probably do wonders.

When I changed my brakes last spring, I had to replace the calipers in the front because both slide pins on the P-side were seized up almost completely. I could get them to compress fine, but they wouldn't retract because they were corroded.

Something to think about anyways...