Using the parking brake, whether stopped on an incline or in your driveway, protects the locking mechanism in the transmission so your car doesn’t continue moving. However, even with proper use, the lever may get stuck, leaving you with an unmovable vehicle. Next time you find yourself in this scenario, remember the following advice so you can possibly avoid a call to roadside assistance.
How Parking Brakes Work
The parking brake takes unnecessary strain off the transmission when your car is not in motion. It’s made up of springs and cables that are protected by a sheath and connected to a hand lever. The braking system is connected to the rear brakes, and when you pull the hand lever, the brakes are activated.
Reasons the Parking Brake Is Stuck
During the winter, the parking brake may have frozen due to cold weather. If this is the case, gently rev the engine after it has reached operating temperature to distribute engine heat under the vehicle. The warmth may thaw the frozen component. Then, disengage & engage & disengage the parking brake a few times once the car has warmed up to break up any ice.
Water and dirt can cause the cables, linkage or actuators to corrode, which, in turn, causes parking brake lockup or failure. You might be able to get it unstuck by manually applying and releasing it a few times, as well as shifting into drive and reverse. This back-and-forth motion of the vehicle might dislodge the rust that’s built up. To avoid this problem, always use the brake—frequent use will keep the system lubricated and avoid rust buildup.
3. Left on Too Long
While the parking brake can be left on overnight, if left on for days or longer, it can become stuck. Follow the same advice for frozen parking brake, but if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to have the vehicle brought to the shop on flatbed.
If you’ve tried these tips and your brake is still stuck, or you have other issues with your car that need fixing, call Fort Mitchell Garage. We’re an automobile repair company that has provided affordable and efficient services in Park Hills, KY, for over 100 years. We do brake repairs, electrical services, collision repair, and everything in between. If you need car service, visit us online or give us a call at (859) 431-3326 for more information.