Stuck in gear/No brake pressure

INeedHelp

Member
Hi everyone!

My 2008 3500 got frozen into about a foot of ice. After about 2 hours of chiseling it out, I tried driving it out. It was quite the fools errand. After awhile of trying to rock it out going from drive to reverse to drive and so on, the brake light came on, the brakes lost all pressure, and the gear got stuck in park. So, I’m wondering what happened to my brakes and what I can do to do to fix them. And please excuse the abuse I did to my van 😳.
 

Rob S

2008 Navion J on 2007 V6
We may well excuse the abuse, but you may have more trouble getting the van to forgive you.

Was the ice underneath high enough to damage the shift linkage?

Light coming on might indicate damage to wiring as well and/or also the brake lines.

I always believed that trying to rock an automatic is risky business, so hopefully it is not actual transmission damage.
 

INeedHelp

Member
The ice was only surrounding the van, so there shouldn’t be any damage from that. I think that it’s just the brakes. My understanding is that once the light comes on, the van won’t shift into gear as safety measure. So, I’m wondering what I could’ve done to my brakes. I would get the van back a few inches, slam on the brake, and then bring it into drive. Could bring too rough with the brakes do damage to wires, or would this be a pressure/fluid issue?
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Is the pedal still firm or does it drop or sink to the floor?

Have you checked the fluid level?

Keith.
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
I haven’t checked it. The peddle stays up on its own, but there’s no resistance when compressing it to the floor.
It rather sounds like you have a major leak somewhere, check the fluid level before going any further.

Keith.

PS The pedal will have a spring at its pivot hence why it returns on its own.
 

INeedHelp

Member
I finally got a chance to check the fluid. It’s well below minimum. It only comes up to the base of the base of the reservoir. Could filling it back up solve the problem?
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Fill it up then you will most likely need to bleed the brakes.

If the level keeps falling then have a very good luck underneath for puddles!

Keith.
 

NNGVan

2008 3500 Custom Uplift
make sure to check your brake vacuum/booster. It's a round pancake behind and below the drivers light. It will have a little pipe coming out of it and you can feel suction if you pull it to check.
 

INeedHelp

Member
UPDATE!

So, I filled the brake fluid reservoir to max with 800 mL of fluid. I did an override of the gear lever and got it into drive.
Upon driving it around the lot, I was able to get it to stop by completely compressing the brake. The brakes wouldn’t engage, however, until my foot was to the floor and they’d barely hang on. There was some slipping until it got slow enough to get it to a full stop.
I haven’t checked the vacuum/booster yet, I will later today.
As for the above circumstances, any ideas?
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
UPDATE!

So, I filled the brake fluid reservoir to max with 800 mL of fluid. I did an override of the gear lever and got it into drive.
Upon driving it around the lot, I was able to get it to stop by completely compressing the brake. The brakes wouldn’t engage, however, until my foot was to the floor and they’d barely hang on. There was some slipping until it got slow enough to get it to a full stop.
I haven’t checked the vacuum/booster yet, I will later today.
As for the above circumstances, any ideas?
Assuming you have located and repaired the fault that caused the loss of fluid, you still need a brake bleed to get the air out of your system.
 

INeedHelp

Member
So I’ve checked the vacuum/booster and there is suction. I’ve also been looking for a leak and monitoring the fluid level and it hasn’t moved. Could this be anything else? The brakes are working, just barely and only when the peddle’s fully compressed.
 

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