Disengaging a Stuck Parking Brake

"P" is for "Park," Not "Permanent"

Obviously, you want your auto's parking brake to hold your vehicle in place. That's the point. Right? However, you also certainly don't want that halt to become permanent. That's counterproductive, too. While a stuck parking brake hopefully won't happen to you very often, what can you do if it does indeed happen? We'll give you a few pointers to help you prevent or fix a seizure. However, keep in mind that our staff is always available to help you with any make or model. That makes Noble Auto Service in Noblesville, Indiana, the best one-stop shop for brake repair.

What Can Cause a Stuck Parking Brake?

Once you discover that you indeed have a parking brake that won't move, maybe you question exactly what might have caused it. There are a few different culprits that might be behind the seized safety device. If your car is exposed to freezing temperatures, particularly in wet conditions, ice could be preventing the brake from releasing. Also, the parking brake may tend to remain engaged if your auto has been parked a long time with the brake set or if the brake was engaged too hard. Finally, corrosion or rust can immobilize the safety device.

What Can You Do About It?

Logically, your next thought beyond the cause is likely how to remedy a parking brake that won't engage. If ice is the culprit, try letting your vehicle idle a few minutes to warm up and begin melting the freeze. You may even try revving your engine to hasten the heating process. Prevention may be a good strategy, too. If you know the temperatures will be frigid, perhaps you can avoid setting the parking brake unless it's essential. Likewise, if the brake was left set too long, try the same technique you did for ice. As prevention, avoid putting the brake if possible if the vehicle will be sitting for an extended time. If the issue involves a hard tug that sets the brake a bit too firmly, try to release the brake multiple times. If it still doesn’t budge, you'll likely need to call a tow truck and bring your vehicle to the shop for help from a certified technician. Should you identify corrosion or rust as the underlying cause, you can try to disrupt the hold by repeatedly applying and releasing the brake. You can also try rocking your car slightly back and forth using the drive and reverse repeatedly. Again, a tow may be necessary if you can't dislodge the stuck brake. The easiest solution to all your braking problems and repair needs, however, is to visit Noble Auto Service.

Written by Reggie Stewart