Scary Moment – Back Wheel Locked Up.

I was driving back from the Co-op and had just got back up to the 40mph speed limit when I realised that the van wasn’t pulling right.  It felt like the handbrake was still on.  So I reached down and pressed the button on the handbrake lifted it slightly to disengage the ratchet and all hell broke loose.

The back wheel on the drivers side locked up solid and a loud tyre screeching noise and juddering started.

I quickly pulled over and waited for the huge plume of tyre rubber smoke to slowly drift past me before getting out.  I scared a walker who was on the other side of the road, but he came over to see if I was ok, if I had hit anything etc.  A very nice couple came over from the house where the skid had started to check up on me.

After some minor concern about the back wheel being locked up, and being stuck in Woodhall Spa with no way to get back to the campsite I decided to see if the wheel would free up.  Fortunately it did.  I drove very slowly with hazards on back to the campsite.  Figuring out what had happened led me to test the van out and I could replicate the problem and ruled out there being a risk of moving the van further.  So fortunately I didn’t need to get a mobile mechanic out and could safely drive to the garage.

Anyway to cut a long story very short.  It appears the return springs/clips inside the hub had broken and the shoes had jammed themselves into the hub surface locking the back wheel up.

I have the van booked in to get the shoes, the hub/disk and caliper replaced.  In the meantime whenever I use the handbrake I have to reverse after letting it off to free up the back wheel.