Three types of parking brakes

Three forms of parking brakes (hand brake, ebrake, pedal brake)

The tip of any journey by automotive, truck, or van will be thrilling or exhausting, however parking the car is the inevitable conclusion to the drive. At that time, parking brakes develop into vital. Though parking brakes are extra very important in some conditions than in others, understanding how you can use the several types of parking brakes is a crucial talent for any driver. With numerous forms of parking brakes in numerous automobiles, drivers ought to know the place to search for this very helpful characteristic, it doesn’t matter what form of car they’re working.

The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines a parking brake as an emergency brake, which in flip it defines as a brake that can be utilized when the primary brakes fail or to forestall the car from rolling away when it’s parked. The problem of rolling away is way extra pertinent for very hilly areas of the nation than flat ones, however parking brakes will be helpful even in areas the place the probabilities of which can be very slim. Even a slight incline may trigger a car to roll into one other automotive or truck, probably damaging each and probably inflicting accidents.


When Ought to I Use My Parking Brake?

As a basic rule, with all automobiles, it’s a secure guess to make use of it each time you park the car.

Automobile With Automated Transmission

If you put a automotive with an automated transmission into park, a tool known as a parking pawl locks up the transmission in order that the automotive can not transfer. Technically, this is sufficient to preserve your automotive in place, and we’d be mendacity if we stated we all the time used a parking brake on automated automobiles. 

Nevertheless, utilizing the parking brake with automated automobiles can shield the transmission. If you happen to park the automotive along with your foot on the brake, activate the parking brake, then set the transmission into park, the load of the car might be in your parking brake quite than the transmission. Some folks say this can be a precedence, others are detached. As all the time, higher secure than sorry.

Automobile With Handbook Transmission

ALWAYS. When driving a automotive with a guide transmission, all the time activate the parking brake earlier than you exit the automotive, as there’s no parking pawl right here.

Single Trendy Paddle

We’re seeing extra automakers swapping the essential deal with for one thing extra like a paddle or an animal paw. This palm-friendly brake from the Citroen C4 Aircross is mounted within the conventional location on the heart console, however contains a button beneath the massive deal with to launch the brake.

In The Sprint: Half Two

The tiny Renault Twizy EV runabout could be an ideal candidate for an digital brake, however that consumes electrical energy. The answer was a operated by hand brake mounted low on the sprint that operates with an ungainly pull/depress motion.

Drum Brakes

Drum brakes encompass a brake drum hooked up to the within of the wheel. When the brake pedal contracts, hydraulic stress presses two brake sneakers in opposition to the brake drum. This creates friction and causes the car to sluggish and cease.

3 Completely different Sorts Of Parking Brakes

Usually, you’ll come throughout these three forms of parking brakes:

A. Middle Lever Parking Brake

The middle lever parking brake (or handbrake) is the most typical kind of emergency brake. It consists of a lever positioned between the 2 entrance seats of your car.

To have interaction a middle lever parking brake, you simply want to tug the parking brake lever up. 

To disengage the handbrake, all it’s important to do is press the button on the finish of the lever after which push the middle lever down.

B. Foot Pedal Parking Brake

A foot pedal parking brake system (or foot brake) has a small pedal positioned to the left of the driving force’s footwell. 

The motive force’s footwell is the area under the steering wheel that homes the clutch pedal (in a guide transmission car), common brake pedal, and accelerator pedal. 

To activate the foot brake, you’ll need to press down on the parking brake pedal until you hear a click on sound — at this level, your parking brake is engaged. To launch the foot brake, find the lever proper above the brake pedal and pull at it.

C. Push Button Parking Brake

The push button parking brake (present in automobiles that use an electrical park brake system) might be the best to make use of.

Merely push the digital parking brake button in your car’s console to activate the emergency brake. To launch the electrical parking brake, simply press the button as soon as once more.

Nevertheless, whatever the kind of parking brake your car makes use of, it’s important to know when and why you must interact your emergency brake.

Subsequent Step

Schedule Parking brake gained't interact Inspection

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Sensible Entry Begin System (For Gasoline-powered Vehicles)

  • The strategy of operation might differ relying on the automotive mannequin. Please verify with the employees for particulars.

How you can Begin the Engine

Operate the car with the electronic key on you. Ch

Function the automotive with the digital key on you. Verify that the parking brake is utilized.

Check that the shift lever is in the P position.

Verify that the shift lever is within the P place.

Firmly step down on the brake pedal. The Smart Ent

Firmly step down on the brake pedal. The Sensible Entry and Begin System sign mild activates.

Press the engine swap. Proceed stepping down on the brake pedal till the engine begins up.

How you can Flip Off the Engine

Operate the car with the electronic key on you. St

Function the automotive with the digital key on you. Cease the automotive fully. Transfer the shift lever to the P place.

Apply the parking brake.

Apply the parking brake.

The engine will flip off if you press the engine swap.

How the Parking Brake Works with Numerous Programs

As a result of not all braking programs are an identical, the variations affect how the parking brake works. Autos with automated transmissions typically have parking brakes with automated releases whereas some later fashions require the primary brake pedal to be depressed earlier than the transmission will be switched out of park. Anytime Drive or Reverse is chosen on the automated transmission, the parking brake is mechanically launched. Older fashions would solely require the gear shift to be moved with out urgent down on the brake pedal.

The parking brake will press in opposition to rear drum brakes mechanically with a drive that’s lower than what’s used with the primary braking system. With disc brakes, the emergency brake prompts the calipers or a small drum brake that’s contained throughout the hub of the disc. Bigger automobiles typically include power-operated parking brakes or ones which can be energy assisted. The motive force will pull the lever and hydraulic stress is allowed into the brake cylinder, making use of drive to the brake sneakers. That is an added security mechanism that’s typically seen on business automobiles.

A current growth in parking brakes is the electrical parking brake. It features a lot the identical approach as the standard parking brake, besides that it engages at a push or pull of a button as an alternative of utilizing a mechanical lever. The extra superior designs even use a motor that’s managed by a pc to have interaction the parking brake. Some high-end luxurious fashions have a system that mechanically engages the parking brake when the engine is stopped. It’s launched as soon as the gasoline pedal is pressed with no different human intervention essential.

What Ought to You Do In Case Of A Caught Parking Brake?

Over time, as a consequence of environmental publicity and different components, the parking brake in your car would possibly get caught. For instance, rust within the parking brake cable may cause your parking brake to lock up and stop functioning.

If you happen to’ve acquired a stuck parking brake, attempt to get your parking brake system fastened ASAP.

Whereas it may be tempting to try to repair the locked-up parking brake by yourself, it’s not advisable. 


With out the proper instruments (reminiscent of jack stands, wheel chocks, lubricants, and many others.) and correct experience, it’s possible you’ll not be capable of diagnose and repair your parking brake issues correctly.

We advocate that you just request a mechanic to examine and repair your automotive’s parking brake issues.

A mechanic would:

1. Place wheel chocks on the wheels (normally the entrance wheels) unaffected by the parking brake.

2. Jack up your automotive and use jack stands to maintain the car elevated.

3. Take away the wheel and find the parking brake cable (for a mechanical parking brake system) or electrical motor (for an electrical parking brake system).

4. Diagnose what’s inflicting the parking brake to lock up or get caught.

5. Service, restore, or change the parking brake elements based mostly on the underlying challenge.

6. Reattach the wheels and decrease the automotive to the bottom.

7. Have interaction the hand brake, foot pedal, or digital parking brake swap to verify if it’s working as anticipated.

Word: When hiring a mechanic to restore your emergency brake, be certain that they:

  • Are ASE-certified
  • Give you a parking brake service guarantee
  • And use solely high-quality substitute components

However the place do you discover such mechanics?

Risks of the Emergency Brake

Regardless that the emergency brake cable is housed in a protecting sleeve, with rare use, the cable can develop into corroded and rusted. This may end up in cable failure simply if you want it probably the most. Regular use prevents buildup and retains the cable in good situation, although you must have the emergency brakes routinely inspected, as they often must be tightened [source: wiseGEEK].

In chilly temperatures, the emergency brake cable can develop into frozen and fail to launch when the lever is disengaged. Parking in a storage or different protected space might help you to keep away from this drawback. But when it’s important to park exterior and it freezes up, you shouldn’t try and drive your car. Options embrace ready it out or jacking up the automotive and utilizing a hairdryer. The most suitable choice in freezing climate is to easily not use the emergency brake in any respect [source: USACE]. If you happen to’re on degree floor in a guide car, put the automotive in first or reverse and skip the e-brake.


­Remember that in some automobiles, the emergency brake engages the entrance brakes, not the rear brakes. Understanding which brakes are set and correctly chocking your car wheels will shield you in conditions the place you should jack up the car. Check with your service guide earlier than you elevate the automotive. Believing the rear brakes are engaged once they aren’t will be extraordinarily harmful.

Now onto the large query: Is utilizing the emergency brake secure when the opposite brakes fail? Sure and no. Pulling the brake lever shortly will trigger the car to fishtail, lock up or skid, basically eradicating management of the car from the driving force. However for those who’re ever within the extremely unlikely however extraordinarily severe scenario of getting your service brakes fail to perform, attempt to keep calm and pull the emergency brake lever up sluggish and regular, bringing the car to an extended however extra managed cease.

When E-Brakes Fail, Emergency Brakes and Bathrooms?

In April of 2008, comic Jerry Seinfeld was driving in a classic Fiat when the brakes failed. In an try and cease the car, Seinfeld engaged the emergency brakes. They did not work. Seinfeld’s car continued on towards an intersection earlier than he jerked the wheel and rolled the automotive. Fortunately, he escaped the scary journey unhurt [source: New York Post].

Different automobiles, together with trains, use emergency brakes as effectively. However typically, the system is barely flawed. In November 2008, a Swedish prepare conductor needed to flip off the bogs in his prepare for concern of setting off the emergency brake system. Seems the e-brakes are linked to the bogs, so if too many individuals flush, the prepare can come to a shrieking halt [source: United Press International].

Learn Extra


Correct use of the Parking Brake

One approach to keep in mind to launch the parking brake is to have interaction it as totally as doable, which can make the car sluggish and arduous to drive till the brake is launched. This can be troublesome to do in winter, when chilly temperatures may cause parking brake cables to freeze and fail to disengage. Whether it is unattainable to depart the car in a sheltered place in winter, it’s a good suggestion to let the car heat up earlier than trying to disengage the parking brake.

Though a parking brake is just not usually sturdy sufficient to cease a car going at excessive speeds within the occasion of a failure within the braking system, it will possibly sluggish the car down sufficient for the driving force to discover a secure resolution. Nonetheless, it is very important use the brake correctly, pulling up slowly and steadily to keep away from inflicting the car to skid or to swerve across the street. Shedding management on this approach could possibly be simply as harmful as having no brakes, as drivers can panic and steer into one other lane or crash right into a barrier. Nevertheless, utilizing the brake slowly and cautiously might help the driving force preserve the car shifting ahead steadily.

Utilizing the parking brake repeatedly is an efficient behavior for all drivers, whether or not they’re working guide or automated transmission automobiles. This might help stop corrosion within the braking system whereas additionally giving drivers a greater sense of how the brake works. In an emergency, the driving force may even know precisely the place the brake is and how you can interact it, quite than having to consider it. Everytime you drive, remember to keep in mind your parking brake.


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