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Thread: Would driving with the parking brake up damage the car?

  1. #1
    zyran's Avatar
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    Would driving with the parking brake up damage the car?

    I always wondered if the you drove with the parking brake completely/partially up would damage your car. I've seen it happen but with no apparent damage. Would help if howstuffworks had info on this.
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    I have driven with the hand brake partially up once, it was my first trips by car after having driver's license. The car was handling pretty weirdly and when I came to intersection and started to brake, it felt very strange (kinda jerky or something...). I was like WTF ? Then I noticed that, fuck, I have the hand brake up! I felt embarrassed, am I an amateur or something? Yes, of course I was amateur then, but you always think you are the best driver there is ... Well, my mistake luckily didn't damage the car.

    Oh shit, what an essay! And there even isn't any good answers to your question! LOL.
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    .sa = bad driver!
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    You'll wear out the parking brake if you do it all the time. Probably the clutch too, since you'll be making it work against the emergency brake to get moving.

    I don't think it could cause instant damage though, just a bit of wear.
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    I don't think so, the parkingbrake should work properly to be on the road legal, because, if your normal brakes fail you always have that emergency brake to brake. So if that would damage the car that wouldn't be a very good alternative to brake.
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    i dont think its gonna cause much damage either, as chaos386 said, probably u'll just wear out certain parts, thats all

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    The parking brake lever is attached through cables to the rear brakes. That's all. If you drive with your parking brake on, the rear brakes will wear out faster, and if you drive on the highway with your parking brake on, the rear brakes could get pretty hot, perhaps hot enough to start a fire.

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    ^I always wanted to let my Punto have glowing disks

    Oh I don't have discs
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    MXM
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanderson
    The parking brake lever is attached through cables to the rear brakes. That's all. If you drive with your parking brake on, the rear brakes will wear out faster, and if you drive on the highway with your parking brake on, the rear brakes could get pretty hot, perhaps hot enough to start a fire.
    If you have disk brakes at the back, handbrake is not attached to them. It has it's mechanism inside the rotor, so real brakes will be just fine. Of course handbrake will need adjustment or replacement if you often drive like that

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    It depends on the make and model of the car, I suppose. I've worked on a lot of disc brake cars that have the cables connected to the brake calipers. I think that's the "cheap" way to do it.

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    Hm. Never seen one. Not that I've seen a lot of disk brakes But I suppose it's possible.

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    haha, my wife's done that a couple times. Once right after we bought a Subaru from her brother. We were driving through town and she said "I thought I remeber this thing having more power. It's seems like a snail". Finally she realized that her brother always used the parking brake, something that she never uses. There was no apparent damage.

    I've heard that if you haven't used your parking brake in a long time then you probably shouldn't. That probably just applies to older cars though.
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    If you haven't used the parking brake for a long, long time, the mechanism that pulls on the rear brakes (or in the case of a different setup, whatever mechanism it might be) gets encrusted with grease and dirt, and when you pull on it, it won't pop back out again, effectively keeping your parking brakes on all the time. Driving with your brakes on has a somewhat negative effect on gas mileage.

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    Well said kanderson. I've told both my parents to always use the handbrake. Even my dad puts on the handbrake as well. He's usually the stubborn one.

    You never know when you might need to use the handbrake. And if you've never used, well you could be stuck .
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    MXM
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    I never trust handbrake alone when leaving a car. I've seen people running behind their cars couple of times And almost did it myself. Only use it while engine is runing, and I'm in the car, just to be sure.

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    I use the 1st gear to park, and when on a slope I use both.
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    I always leave it in gear and use the handbrake.
    The only exception is that I don't use the handbrake if I've just given the brakes a really good workout.
    I heard that it isn't good for (something, I forget what) if you set it after heavily using the brakes, but I have no idea why that would be.

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    If you are using the brakes excessively and they are hot enough to smoke, then the theory is that using the parking brake before they cool can cause the brake drum or rotor to cool unevenly and warp. This is outdated advice from back when metalurgy and braking technologies were quite a bit more crude than now.

    The real fact is cheap brakes will warp when they get really hot whether you use the parking brake or not. So you need to take it easy on budget cars. Good quality brakes will handle the heat and the parking brake just fine without warping.

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    probably have nothing more to add but wanted to thank you all guys for the info
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanderson
    If you are using the brakes excessively and they are hot enough to smoke, then the theory is that using the parking brake before they cool can cause the brake drum or rotor to cool unevenly and warp. This is outdated advice from back when metalurgy and braking technologies were quite a bit more crude than now.

    The real fact is cheap brakes will warp when they get really hot whether you use the parking brake or not. So you need to take it easy on budget cars. Good quality brakes will handle the heat and the parking brake just fine without warping.
    They will only fade like an absolute bitch....

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    Or, if you get unlucky, like me, your rear brakes will sieze up, wreck the pad, rotor, and caliper...and cost you $600 to get fixed

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