What you should know about the Parking Brake on your vehicle

The parking brake or also known as the emergency brake mechanism on your vehicle, is a device that when it is applied it contracts the rear pads and holds the weight of the vehicle by the rear brakes. It is important to use the parking brake every time the vehicle is parked and left unoccupied. The parking brake can be found to the left of your brake pedal on the floorboard or it can also be located near the center consul or shifter, depending on the make and model of your car. Often time the parking brake is used while parking on an inclined surface. The parking brake helps keep the car in place and not move. You can also consult the vehicle owner’s manual to help locate the parking brake. While the parking brake is not used on a regular basis, it should be inspected to ensure it is working properly.

The Parking Brake may need to be adjusted

brake-repair-1Just as regular brakes need adjusting after a certain amount of time, the parking brake will also need to be adjusted. The most common problem with parking brakes on an automatic transmission is that the parking brake rarely gets used causing the brake cables to corrode. If you notice that your parking brake is not working as it should then the components of your parking brake may need to be cleaned. This helps to get rid of any corrosion and dirt from not being used. Vehicles that have a manual transmission use their parking brake a lot more. The parking brake should be used each time your vehicle is off and unoccupied. This helps for the safety for yourself, while also making sure the vehicle does not roll away.

Do not drive with the Parking Brake on

Driving with the parking brake on can result in a potential problem for the brake system. If you do happen to drive with the parking brake on, you can cause wear to the linings of the main brakes for the vehicle. The moving wheel causes friction when the brake is applied, wearing away the brake pads. There is also a possibility that the temperature of the engine will rise above safe levels because of the added friction that is additional when the pressure is there. If this does happen, a warning light that indicates a high engine temperature may alert you. If this happens, make sure to turn off the vehicle immediately. If this is ignored, it can result in radiator damage, cracked head gasket, or many other things. You might notice a rubber smell that is given off from the braking system being pressed. This is often the most noticeable sign your vehicle will give off for you to know that something is wrong.

The Parking Brake should be maintained

Your parking brake is an important safety feature on your vehicle, which is why keeping it properly maintained is significant. If the parking brake does not get used as much as it should then you might experience problems with it sticking. You might also find that if you leave the vehicle sit for an extended amount of time with the parking brake on, it can then get stuck. Using your parking brake on a regular basis will help make sure this does not happen.