It goes by many names: parking brake, emergency brake, handbrake, E brake. When used properly it can be one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. This secondary breaking system was created to be used in the case of brake system failure. These days most of the safety benefit comes from using it when you park your car.
There are four forms of parking brakes:
1. Center lever, placed between the two front seats of the auto
2. Pedal, on the far left of all the floor pedals
3. Stick lever, located under the instrument panel (less typical on newer autos)
4. Electric or push button, found on the console controls in late-model cars
Many car owners only decide to use the parking brake when they park on steep hills. This is a serious mistake, especially if you are driving a manual transmission vehicle.
Get into the habit of using your emergency brake every time you park. And if you want to put less stress on your transmission, follow this formula when you park your car.
1. Stop the car all the way with your primary brakes
2. Set the parking brake
3. Place your car in park
4. Turn off the car
Some car owners who have the center lever brake question whether they should push the button in when they set the brake. Well, keep wondering because there is no definitive opinion. Older cars used materials on these brakes that could wear out, but newer vehicles shouldn't have that issue, despite the ratcheting sound you hear.
If you've ever driven with your E brake engaged, don't be ashamed, it happens to everyone sooner or later. So is it a concern? Yes, that's why getting into the habit of engaging the brake is important because you'll be less likely to forget to disengage it.
But is it the end of the life of your parking brake? Probably not. But it is smart to have an emergency brake inspection. Visit us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair and we can take a look at your brake system and any other parts of your car that concern you. Call us at 716-665-2501 for an appointment today.