Does The Parking Brake Need To Be Maintained?

Does The Parking Brake Need To Be Maintained? | Autobahn Auto Repair

Vehicle maintenance is crucial for the smooth functioning of a car. However, some critical components, such as brakes, tires, and engine oil, take precedence over others. One such component that is often overlooked is the parking brake. But do we really need to maintain the parking brake? If yes, why is it necessary?

   The Importance of the Parking Brake

The parking brake, also known as the emergency brake or handbrake, serves a crucial role in keeping your vehicle stationary when parked. While many modern vehicles have automatic transmission and park-lock mechanisms, the parking brake provides an additional layer of security, especially on inclines or when the primary braking system fails.

   5 Signs That Your Parking Brake Needs Maintenance

1. Unusual Noises or Sensations

When engaging or releasing the parking brake, you may notice unusual noises, such as grinding, squealing, or clicking sounds. These noises could indicate issues with the brake cables, pads, or hardware. Additionally, if you feel any vibrations or unusual sensations through the brake lever or pedal, it could be a sign of underlying problems that require inspection.

2. Loose or Spongy Feeling

A parking brake lever or pedal that feels loose or spongy when engaged may indicate a lack of tension in the brake cables or worn-out brake components. This can affect the effectiveness of the parking brake, leading to difficulty in holding the vehicle stationary when parked. If you notice a significant difference in the resistance or feel of the parking brake, it's crucial to have it checked by a qualified technician.

3. Difficulty Holding the Vehicle Stationary

One of the primary functions of the parking brake is to hold the vehicle stationary when parked, especially on inclines or uneven surfaces. If you find that your vehicle rolls or moves unexpectedly when parked, even after engaging the parking brake, it's a clear indication that the brake system requires attention. This could be due to worn brake pads, corroded brake cables, or other mechanical issues that need to be addressed promptly.

4. Dashboard Warning Light

Some modern vehicles are equipped with a dashboard warning light that illuminates when there's a problem with the parking brake system. If you see the parking brake warning light on your dashboard, it's essential not to ignore it. While it could be a minor issue like low brake fluid levels, it could also indicate more serious problems that require immediate attention from a professional mechanic.

5. Visual Inspection

Regular visual inspection of the parking brake components can also help identify any signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Check the condition of the brake cables, pads, and hardware for any signs of rust, fraying, or excessive wear. Ensure that the parking brake engages and disengages smoothly without any sticking or binding.

   Importance of Regular Inspection and Adjustment

Regular inspection and adjustment of the parking brake are essential to maintain its effectiveness. Over time, the brake cables may stretch, brake pads may wear down, or components may become corroded, compromising the parking brake's performance. Routine checks and adjustments can help identify and rectify any issues before they escalate.

   Recommended Maintenance Practices

To ensure the proper operation of your parking brake, it's recommended to include it in your regular vehicle maintenance routine. This includes inspecting the brake cables, pads, and associated hardware for signs of wear or damage, lubricating moving parts as needed, and adjusting the brake as per manufacturer specifications. It's also essential to address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and ensure your safety on the road.

   Consequences of Neglecting Parking Brake Maintenance

Neglecting parking brake maintenance can have serious consequences, both in terms of safety and vehicle operation. A poorly maintained parking brake may fail to hold the vehicle securely, leading to potential accidents or damage. 

Additionally, suppose the parking brake is not functioning correctly. In that case, it can place undue strain on other braking components, such as the brake calipers and rotors, accelerating wear and potentially leading to costly repairs.

For expert brake system repairs in Newark or the surrounding region, contact Autobahn Auto Repair!