Learn more about your parking brake!

Whether you drive a car with an automatic or a manual transmission, you probably have an emergency brake. According to our Charlotte auto service techs, the emergency brake is also known as the parking brake. This mechanism is designed as a lever, handle or pedal that you pull or press. If you've never really known the use for this safety feature, our Charlotte auto service technicians are explaining everything you need to know about your parking brake.

What is a parking brake?

Parking brake tips

The car parking brake is typically located in front center, next to the driver's right hand or below the steering wheel near the driver's left foot. Mechanically, this feature is a series of cables that operates the rear brakes. While the use of steel cables seems almost antiquated, our Charlotte auto service experts explain that this mechanical system is designed to bring the vehicle to a complete stop in case of total brake failure (a hydraulic system). Emergency brakes operate differently depending on the type of brakes your vehicle has: drum brakes or disc brakes.

How do you use this safety feature?

Usually, the hand lever or foot pedal uses a ratcheting system. This allows motion in only one direction and prevents motion from the opposite direction. This ratcheting system keeps the parking brake locked in place and prevents your car from rolling or moving from its stopped position.

  • For a hand lever parking brake, there is usually a button to push that engages the cables and then, with your foot still on the brake pedal, you pull up on the lever until it locks into place. 
  • For a foot pedal emergency brake, our Charlotte auto service technicians recommend you keep your right foot on the brake pedal and press the emergency brake pedal with your left foot.
  • To release the emergency brake, place your foot on the brake pedal and put the hand lever back down or pull the foot pedal back forward with your hand. Some foot pedal emergency brakes deactivate by depressing the brake pedal a second time.
auto service in Charlotte

Our Charlotte Toyota service techs suggest using your emergency brake!

The parking brake system is notorious for going bad if not used often enough. The steel cables can become corroded from water, salt and road debris if unshielded from the elements. Often drivers of cars with automatic transmissions do not utilize their parking brake, but the technicians at our Toyota Service Center in Charlotte suggest you do! To preserve the life of your emergency brake system, our Charlotte auto service pros recommend using your parking brake every time you put your car in park.

Do you know if your parking brake is still operational? Your car's emergency brake is a mechanism that should always be in tiptop shape. If it is not, you should seek out auto service at our Charlotte Toyota Service Center. There are a few ways to tell if your parking brake needs Charlotte Toyota service!

  • It does not hold the car.
  • It does not release.

To schedule auto service for your car's emergency brake, call our Toyota Service Center in Charlotte at (888) 378-1214!

Contact Toyota of North Charlotte