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Emergency/Parking Brake Cable Replacement
The Emergency Brake is a Crucial Component in Your Vehicular Braking System
We often forget that some of the most important braking power a car has occurs with our hand and not our feet. The emergency brake is one of the most important components in the braking system of your car. If something goes wrong with the pedals, or the complicated electronic and hydraulic brake system that the pedals control, your emergency brake is your plan B.
Keep on reading to learn about the emergency brake in your vehicle, and what it takes to repair it if the emergency brake is not working.
How and When To Use the Emergency Parking Brake
The emergency parking brake is a back-up for if the normal brake system on your car fails, and you are unable to bring your car to a complete stop.
It is often also utilized in everyday parking scenarios. In fact, we recommend using the emergency parking brake every time you park your car, and not just when you’re on a hill. Using your emergency parking brake is also crucial if you drive a manual transmission car.
The average braking system on most cars consists of a disc brake on the front wheels, and a drum brake on the rear wheels. Both of these braking systems are powered and controlled by a series of electrical and hydraulic components.
Unfortunately, the brakes in our car are susceptible to wearing out, and brake failure. If this occurs, the emergency brake, powered manually by you and the emergency brake cable, are there as a back-up.
What is a Parking Brake Cable?
The parking brake is a steel cable that runs from the brake lever itself located on the interior of your car, underneath to the brake shoes located within the brake drums of the rear wheels.
When you pull this lever, the shoes press against the brake drums to create friction just as they would if you pressed on the brake pedal. The difference then is that you’re braking with your hand, not your feet, and that you’re bypassing the normal hydraulic system to stop the car manually.
Over time, this parking brake cable can rust and brake. If the parking brake cable on your car brakes, the emergency brake will not stop your car, even if the brake is engaged.
This is a major safety hazard. If this occurs, you need to schedule your car for immediate brake cable repair service.
3 Signs Your Brake Cable Needs to Be Repaired
If you notice any of the following signs while your vehicle is parked or in motion, it may be time to get your brake system serviced, specifically your emergency brake cable.
- The parking brake does not hold your car
- Parking brake does not disengage
- Your parking brake warning light is illuminated on your dashboard
How to Repair the Emergency Brake
If you are worried about sitting at the shop for hours, waiting for your car, don’t be! Repairing the emergency parking brake cable is a super easy fix for any trained mechanic.
The mechanic will simply:
- Remove the faulty brake cable
- Replace it with a brand new one
- Test the brake function
- Test drive the vehicle
Your brake cable should be inspected every single time you get your brakes serviced. Normally, mechanics will also spray a rust penetrant compound on the cable to prevent more rust from building up.
If you are curious about the condition of your brake system, or your parking brake cable, let us know. We have multiple automotive professionals on-site every day to help you with whatever questions, comments, or concerns you might have.