What To do With a Jammed Parking Brake
Have you ever found yourself confronted with a jammed parking brake? There are a number of situations that typically require a bit more braking power than normal, which is why it is important to know how to properly use your brake and avoid jamming it and other unpleasant situations as a result.
The team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin are committed and dedicated to providing top of the line products and services to all our clients. With that said, we want to take time here to acquaint you with your parking brake, how it works, when you should use it and what to do should it become jammed.
HOW DOES A PARKING BRAKE WORK?
Your car’s emergency braking system is connected to the rear brakes of your vehicle. There are a series of cables that are connected to the hand lever on the inside of your vehicle. When you pull up on your parking brake lever, the brakes are then engaged.
WHEN SHOULD YOU USE YOUR PARKING BRAKE?
If your vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission you will more than likely use your emergency brake every time you put your vehicle in park. If your vehicle has an automatic transmission you will probably only use your brakes when you are parked on a hill, although we should all use our parking brake at all times and not just on a hill.
When you park your vehicle, a device known as a parking pawl is engaged. This is a metal pin that goes into a ring that is directly attached to your transmission. When your vehicle is in park, the pawl keeps the shaft in your transmission from turning. There are occasions when a parking pawl can break. In this instance, your parking brake serves as an added safeguard and prevents your car from moving. You should get in the habit of using your parking brake as often as possible. It does not harm your vehicle and is a surefire way of adding peace of mind that your vehicle will not be able to roll away.
HOW DOES MY PARKING BRAKE GET JAMMED?
One of the most common causes of a jammed parking brake is that of rust or corrosion. Water and dirt cause cables to erode which then can cause either your brakes to fail, your brake pads to stick to your wheels, or your cables to snap. In order to keep your brakes from getting stuck, you should use your emergency brake on a regular routine basis which ensures that the corrosion will not occur.
Keep in mind also that your emergency brake can also freeze in place when the weather conditions are cold and wet. This can, however, be resolved quite easily by simply turning on your vehicle and letting it warm up for a short period of time. In addition, your emergency brake can also get stuck if you pull it too hard. When you pull up on the lever too hard it will cause your brakes to get stuck against the wall of your wheel drums.
To release a stuck brake there are a few things you can do. You can start by trying to rock the vehicle back and forth if you are in a safe place or even get under the vehicle and pull the cables. You can also try setting and then releasing the brake several times in your attempt to knock the brake free. Finally, if none of these tactics work, then it’s time to call in the tow truck.
The professionals here at Auto Clinic of Franklin highly recommend you maintain the system with routine service, make every effort to use your parking brake as often as possible, and take it easy when you are either engaging or disengaging the lever so as to avoid a jammed parking brake.
Remember, if you are in need of any type of routine maintenance services or automotive repairs then we are the team for you. Recognized for our quality products and services, our friendly, professional technicians and our affordable prices, the folks here at Auto Clinic of Franklin stand ready to serve you. Winter driving is not far off, so take time out now, if you haven’t already, to have your vehicle tuned-up in time for the cold weather season ahead. Don’t delay. Contact our team today. You’ll be more than glad you did!!