Rear Wheel Locks Up When Turning

When a rear wheel locks up when turning, it could be due to issues with the brake caliper or brake fluid. It’s important to have a professional mechanic inspect and repair the problem promptly to ensure safe driving.

Driving with a locked rear wheel can lead to dangerous situations on the road, such as loss of control or accidents. By addressing the issue early, you can prevent further damage to your vehicle and ensure your safety on the road.

We’ll explore common reasons why a rear wheel may lock up when turning and discuss the best course of action to resolve this issue effectively.

Rear Wheel Locks Up When Turning


Causes Of Rear Wheel Locking

Rear wheel locking while turning can be a concerning issue for any driver. Understanding the potential causes of this problem is crucial in ensuring safety and maintaining the overall performance of the vehicle. Several factors can lead to rear wheel locking, including brake and tire issues. Identifying the specific cause is essential before taking appropriate measures to address the issue.

Brake issues are a common culprit for rear wheel locking during turns. When the brakes are engaged, several problems may arise, leading to the locking of the rear wheels. This can include:

  • Worn brake pads
  • Sticky calipers
  • Brake fluid leakage
  • Improperly adjusted brakes

The condition of the tires can significantly impact the rear wheel’s behavior during turns. Some tire-related issues that may cause rear wheel locking include:

  1. Bald or unevenly worn tires
  2. Low tire pressure
  3. Wheel misalignment
  4. Tire punctures or damage

Brake Issues

Brake Caliper Sticking

When the brake caliper sticks, it can lead to the rear wheel locking up during turns. This issue requires prompt attention to prevent accidents.

Brake Fluid Contamination

Contaminated brake fluid can cause the rear wheel to lock up unexpectedly while turning, compromising safety.

Tire Issues

When your rear wheel locks up while turning, it can be due to various tire-related problems. Understanding these tire issues is crucial to maintaining your vehicle’s safety and performance.

Tire Pressure Imbalance

Uneven tire pressure can cause your rear wheel to lock up during turns. Check and adjust tire pressure according to your vehicle’s specifications to prevent this issue.

Tire Tread Unevenness

Uneven tire tread can lead to rear wheel lock-ups when turning. Regularly inspect your tires for wear and tear, and replace them as needed to ensure proper traction.

Effects Of Rear Wheel Locking

Rear wheel locking while turning can have detrimental effects on a vehicle’s stability and safety. Understanding the potential consequences of this issue is crucial for both drivers and mechanics. Let’s explore the effects of rear wheel locking in more detail.

Loss Of Control

When a rear wheel locks up while turning, it significantly impairs the driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle. This loss of control can lead to precarious driving situations and potentially hazardous maneuvers.

Increased Risk Of Accidents

The rear wheel locking up increases the risk of accidents due to compromised vehicle stability. This issue can cause unexpected swerving or skidding, amplifying the likelihood of collisions and other roadway incidents.

How To Fix Rear Wheel Locking

Experiencing a rear wheel that locks up when turning can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous issue. However, with the right steps, you can easily fix this problem and get back on the road safely. In this article, we will guide you through the process of troubleshooting and resolving the rear wheel locking issue. By following the steps below, you’ll be able to identify the root cause of the problem and find the appropriate solution.

Check Brake Components

If your rear wheel locks up while turning, the first step is to inspect your brake components. Incorrectly adjusted or worn brake pads, damaged brake calipers, or a malfunctioning brake rotor can lead to this issue. To check the brake components:

  1. Inspect the brake pads: Remove the wheel and visually examine the brake pads for excessive wear or damage. If the pads appear thin or have uneven wear, it is recommended to replace them.
  2. Check the brake calipers: Inspect the brake calipers for any signs of damage or irregularity. Make sure the calipers move freely and are not sticking. If there are any issues, consider having them repaired or replaced.
  3. Verify the brake rotor: Ensure the brake rotor is smooth and even. Any warping or unevenness can cause the rear wheel to lock up. If you notice any damage, have the rotor resurfaced or replaced.

Inspect Tires

In some cases, a rear wheel locking up during turns may be due to issues with the tires. Improper tire pressure, worn out treads, or a damaged tire can all contribute to this problem. Follow these steps to inspect the tires:

  1. Check tire pressure: Measure the tire pressure using a tire pressure gauge. Make sure the pressure matches the manufacturer’s recommended level. Adjust the pressure if necessary.
  2. Examine tire treads: Inspect the tire treads for signs of wear, such as uneven wear patterns or low tread depth. If the treads are significantly worn, it’s crucial to replace the tires to prevent any further issues.
  3. Look for tire damage: Carefully examine the tires for any visible damage, such as cuts, bulges, or punctures. If any damage is found, it is advisable to replace the affected tire immediately.

By checking these components and addressing any issues found, you can effectively resolve the problem of rear wheel locking up when turning. However, if the issue persists or you are unsure about performing these checks yourself, it is always recommended to consult a professional mechanic for assistance. Remember, ensuring the proper functioning of your rear wheel is essential for a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

Rear Wheel Locks Up When Turning


Rear Wheel Locks Up When Turning


Frequently Asked Questions On Rear Wheel Locks Up When Turning

What Can Cause A Rear Wheel To Lock Up?

A rear wheel can lock up due to factors like brake issues, worn brake pads, brake fluid leaks, stuck calipers, or problems with the brake master cylinder.

Why Does My Rear End Lock Up When I Turn?

Your rear end locks up when turning due to issues with the differential or brakes. It could be caused by low lubricant levels or worn-out components. Have a professional inspect and repair the problem to ensure safe driving.

Why Do My Wheels Lock When I Turn?

Your wheels lock when turning due to issues with the steering system or low tire pressure.

What To Do When Back Wheel Is Locked?

If your back wheel is locked, release the brake lever, check for debris, or a faulty brake system.

Why Does My Rear Wheel Lock Up When Turning?

When you experience your rear wheel locking up while turning, it can be caused by several factors such as worn brake pads, a malfunctioning brake caliper, or low brake fluid.

How Do I Know If My Brake Caliper Is Faulty?

You can identify a faulty brake caliper by symptoms like dragging brakes, uneven braking, or a spongy brake pedal. It is always advisable to have it inspected by a professional mechanic.

Can Worn Brake Pads Cause Wheel Locking?

Yes, worn brake pads can lead to your rear wheel locking up during turns as they may not provide sufficient friction against the brake rotor, resulting in reduced braking efficiency.


Having a rear wheel lock up while turning can be a concerning issue for any driver. Addressing this problem promptly and accurately is essential for both safety and vehicle maintenance. By identifying potential causes and seeking professional assistance, you can ensure a smooth and secure driving experience.

Don’t hesitate to seek expert advice for a proper resolution.

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