The Brooklyn Bridge isn't for sale anymore.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1992

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a 1987 Honda Prelude with four wheel disc brakes and 40,000 miles. The brake pads and rotors are in excellent condition and work perfectly. The problem is that my parking brake is "frozen" from lack of use, and will not engage. The cables on the parking brake are like new, and properly adjusted, and they pull firmly on the rear calipers when I pull up on the hand brake lever. It looks like the spring loaded shaft going down to the caliper is seized. Lots of penetrating oil doesn't help. The Honda man says "new calipers," which is like buying the Brooklyn Bridge at today's prices. Any tips?

TOM: Well, it sounds like you found the problem, Dean. This is fairly common on cars that have disc parking brakes. And fixing the problem requires that the calipers be replaced. But that doesn't mean you have to buy new calipers, you can buy rebuilt calipers.

RAY: The biggest part of the caliper--the caliper housing--almost never wears out. The internal parts --the seals, the piston, and the emergency brake mechanism--are what eventually get gummed up and cause the caliper to stick or leak.

TOM: And it's a relatively simple matter to open up the caliper, clean it out, and put the brand new parts in. You end up with a caliper that's almost as good as new, and it'll only cost you half as much as the Brooklyn Bridge.

RAY: And besides, the Brooklyn Bridge isn't for sale anymore. My brother bought it just two weeks ago from a nice man standing outside Grand Central Station.

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