What to do to unstick your parking brake

What to do to unstick your parking brake

If you drive a manual transmission, you’re probably more experienced with using the parking brake on your vehicle than driving a car with an automatic transmission. Either way, you’ve likely used a parking brake a time or two in your life, and you may even have had one get stuck.

What is a parking brake, and when should you use it?

The parking brake, also known as either a manual brake or emergency brake, is a system installed on your vehicle to keep it in place while parked. The parking brake is part of your total braking system and uses less pressure on the brake pads than using the brake pedal will. Originally, the parking brake was a backup safety feature should the main brakes fail. It has evolved to be the way to keep your vehicle motionless after you park it. You should engage the parking brake whenever you park your vehicle for a short period. If you are storing a vehicle or planning to park it for a long time, you should not engage the parking brake. Doing so can result in a stuck parking brake, leading to expensive brake repairs.

What to do if your parking brake gets stuck.

First, you’ll want to determine why the brake is stuck. Is it frozen or iced over? Is it corroded and rusty? Did you engage the brake too strenuously or for too long? These reasons for a sticking parking brake have different solutions, so the cause of the problem is closely connected to the solution.

Frozen or Iced Over Parking Brake

If your parking brake is frozen or iced over, turn your car on and let it warm up. You can rev your engine a bit to speed up this process. The idea is that the warmth generated by the engine of your running vehicle will melt any ice or snow and release the parking brake.

Corroded or Rusted Parking Brake

Try engaging and disengaging the brake a few times to see if that knocks some rust off and allows the brake to release. You can also shift from drive to reverse and back a few times to see if that will disengage the parking brake. If your parking brake sticks due to corrosion and rust, you will likely need to take it to a mechanic for some brake repair work.

The Brake Has Been Engaged Too Long or Too Strenuously

The tips for other reasons shared above can also help with either of these problems. Your best bet is to have your parking brake system checked by a brake repair specialist regularly and be careful with how long you engage it.

If your brakes are giving you problems, contact the auto repair experts at Mid-State Transmission and Auto Repair. We are always here to help with all your brake repair needs.

Written by Mid-State Transmission & Auto Repair