Q:

How do you release a stuck parking brake?

A:

Quick Answer

If an emergency brake is stuck, it may help to pump the regular brake a few times, lubricate the emergency brake cable or release button, or locate a repair manual for vehicle-specific instructions. If the car changes gears, shifting the gear from drive to reverse a few times may also loosen the emergency brake.

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How do you release a stuck parking brake?
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Full Answer

There are a variety of methods that can possibly fix a stuck parking break. The wheel that is seized with the brake should be identified, and the car should be securely supported on a jack. The seized wheel should be removed so that the brake is visible. Gently tapping the brake with a hammer helps remove any adhesions. The cable may need to be replaced because the parking brake can become stuck due to a faulty cable or faulty calipers. The cable can rust and wear down over time.

The symptoms of a faulty emergency brake include a very heavy brake pedal, a burning smell from the front tires, and dark, dirty brake fluid. Replacing the brake fluid can also help keep the emergency brake lubricated. After going through below-freezing temperatures, the cable can freeze and remain in place even when the emergency brake handle is lowered.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where can you find a parking brake diagram online?

    A:

    A parking brake diagram is available to be viewed on the Falcon parts website; however it only relates to older Ford vehicles. To find a parking brake diagram for a specific vehicle, the exact make and model of the car must be used.

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  • Q:

    How does a hand brake work?

    A:

    A hand brake is also known as a parking brake or emergency brake. It's a secondary braking system used to keep a vehicle in a stationary position. A hand brake is usually installed as a lever situated between the front seats and is activated by pulling it up.

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  • Q:

    What wrench is needed to tighten an emergency brake?

    A:

    Two open-ended wrenches are required to adjust the emergency brake on a vehicle. There are two procedures that tighten the emergency brake cable, one requires access under the vehicle while the other can be done inside of the cabin. The manufacturer will list which of the two procedures will work for the vehicle inside of its repair manual.

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  • Q:

    What happens when you drive with the emergency brake on?

    A:

    Most of the time, driving with the emergency brake engaged does little harm, but the driver should have a professional inspect the brakes for damage. In many instances, the driver notes the smell of hot brakes and disengages the brake, but prolonged driving with the brake engaged potentially ruins the rear brake shoe linings or drums.

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