Parking brakes are essential for manual vehicles, and can also be helpful for their automatic counterparts by preventing needless wear and tear on the transmission. A stuck parking brake may not be a common occurrence, but it’s a massive inconvenience when it does happen. Knowing what to do if your parking brake gets stuck will save you time and hassle.
What to Do if Your Parking Brake Gets Stuck
Parking brakes are a separate system from your main driving brakes, and there are many reasons that they can become stuck. It’s not always possible to know the exact cause of the problem. Try these solutions and see what works for you.
Engaged Too Hard or Engaged Too Long
It’s possible that an overly enthusiastic pull on your parking brake can cause it to become stuck. In this case, the parking brake has become clamped against the brake shoes too hard and may actually require a professional to unstick.
Similarly, a parking brake that has been engaged for too long – such as if the vehicle has been placed into storage or hasn’t been used for a season – can become stuck in place and require professional intervention.
The Parking Brake Line is Corroded
Corrosion is the most common cause of parking brakes sticking. The bottom of your vehicle is always exposed to the road, road salts, debris, potholes, and other potential causes of damage. Your parking brake line can become corroded from exposure, which in turn leads to a brake that is difficult to engage or disengage.
- Start your car and shift the vehicle into drive and reverse, ‘rocking’ your vehicle. The movement can help loosen some rust and free up your parking brake.
- Engage and disengage your parking brake a few times. Like the previous step, the movement could dislodge some rust.
- Inspect the parking brake cable to see if rust is present. If you have the tools to do so, you can manually pull on the cable and potentially loosen the line enough to be able to disengage the brake from the cabin.
Rust can cause a lot of problems in your vehicle, and if rust is present on one part, there’s a good chance that it’s present on other parts of your vehicle as well. You may want to have your vehicle inspected to make sure that rust doesn’t start corroding the bottom of your vehicle.
Your Parking Brake is Frozen
Ice can actually freeze your parking brake in place. While this isn’t a common problem in the Atlanta area, it’s a possibility to keep in mind if you’re traveling out of town during cold weather.
If you think your parking brake might be frozen, turn on your engine and let the car warm for 10 – 15 minutes. The heat from your vehicle should melt any ice encasing your parking brake line, which will in turn let you disengage the hand brake.
What to Do if Your Parking Brake Gets Stuck? Call T3 Atlanta!
Whether your parking brake is stuck or your vehicle is having another mechanical issue, T3 Atlanta is your metro-area resource for Toyota, Lexus, Infiniti, and Nissan vehicle repairs. We can help you unstick your brakes, perform annual inspections, and help keep your car in top shape for years to come.