Automotive

Parking Brake - use it or not?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 25th, 2009 12:40 am
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jan 18, 2004
6261 posts
1095 upvotes

Parking Brake - use it or not?

I've heard when I got my first car back in 95 that I should always use the parking brake when I'm parked.

This prolongs the life of the brakes.

Is this true?

What are the benefits of using the parking brake?
75 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 27, 2004
2225 posts
73 upvotes
Paris, France
I'm not sure about prolonging the life of your brakes (I don't see how that would work), but in a standard transmission it prevents your car from rolling downhill (if the grade is steep enough). In an automatic transmission, it also takes the strain off the transmission while keeping your car in place.
Banned
Jul 16, 2008
524 posts
1 upvote
The way I see it, either you use it all the time or you don't use it at all.

If you use it all the time, it is far less-likely to seize on than if you only use it some of the time.

While it is extra protection for the transmission because the entire weight of the car is no resting on the transmission, it is also protection from other drivers who prefer to "park by feel" against your car in the parking lots.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
24256 posts
2996 upvotes
Montreal
An auto trans can get the parking prawl locked on inclines. I say use it. It doesn't hurt.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 14, 2008
6858 posts
219 upvotes
Ontario
I used to have a vehicle with a parking brake that seized due to lack of use.
I also knew a girl who bought a 300Z back in the day and drove it from Hamilton to Wasaga with the parking brake on, this was shortly after she became a stripper :lol: :lol: :lol:
Member
Jul 4, 2008
206 posts
I dont think I've ever heard of it prolonging the life of the brakes (overall system). Though using is regularly will help keep the hand brake from seizing. Use it or lose it kinda thing.

As for the question.....I only use it if I am park on an incline. Such as parking garages, hills, knolled driveways, etc... .
Newbie
Feb 4, 2009
65 posts
use it or lose it. :lol:

just use it, it's there for a reason. i've also heard that it'll seize up if it's not used overtime (mostly for older cars).
Deal Guru
User avatar
Dec 23, 2003
14059 posts
2505 upvotes
Toronto
Both my cars are automatic and I always use the parking brake. As other mentioned, using it daily keeps it from the following:

- Getting seized
- Easier to service (spraying the linkage vs. trying to un-seize the parts)
- Helpful to stop a car in an emergency,
- Puts less stress on the transmission from holding the car in place (especially when parking on grades)
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Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
19074 posts
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Burlington-Hamilton
Is it true that if you use the parking break in the Winter, it can freeze up on you and fail to disengage?
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Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2005
2144 posts
42 upvotes
Mississauga
Jucius Maximus wrote: Is it true that if you use the parking break in the Winter, it can freeze up on you and fail to disengage?
Yes. It's happen to me a few times where I've had to pull on the parking brake handle several times to try and get it unstuck. When it's really cold out, I don't use my parking brake.
Deal Expert
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Jun 12, 2007
15077 posts
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London
On some cars (with rear disk brakes), there is an adjuster built into the parking brake. If the parking brake isn't used, the rear brakes eventually stops working (as the pads wear down). The pressure can get so low in the rears that it will set off the dash brake failure light.
Deal Addict
Dec 11, 2007
2419 posts
174 upvotes
So the hand brake should still be used when parked on a perfectly level surface?
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton
umop wrote: So the hand brake should still be used when parked on a perfectly level surface?
I use it. The main issue is that if you don't use it, then it can seize up and fail to work when you actually need it. I always use my parking brake, and I have an automatic transmission.

This sort of thing was a big problem when I lived with my parents... they never use the parking brake. Ever. I had to keep a sign in the car that I stuck between the seats, warning the next driver the the parking brake was engaged, otherwise my parents would never remember to disengage it.
- Casual Gastronomist -

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