How My Parking Brake Stopped Working?

The parking brake is a mechanical hand lever or foot-operated brake that is a backup braking system. It is also known as emergency braking. The location varies between models either it is located between the front two-seat or to the left of your gas and brake pedal. The function of the parking brake is different from hydraulic brakes, it controls the rear brake. Parking brakes use only cables and lever to operate. It helps the car from rolling down a hill or moving when the vehicle is kept park. If a regular hydraulic brake gets fail to stop, you can use an emergency brake to stop the car.

The parking brake is not the primary brake that you tap with your foot to stop the car. This is the first brake to stop or parked the car if the primary brake has the problem. To know the reason behind why the parking brake stopped working. Read this article fully to understand.

Reasons Why My Parking Brake Stopped Working?

Despite being so simple parking brake, several things go wrong with your parking brake. Here is the common reason behind this issue.

1. Need To Adjust The Brake Shoes

Brake shoes are part of the drum braking system. These brake shoes are crescent-shaped which sit inside of the brake drum. When the brake pedal is pressed, the brake shoes come outside, pushing against the inside of the brake drum and slowing down the car. These Braking shoes are needed to be adjusted. This requires removing the rear wheel, remove the braking drum and adjust the wheel to spread the shoes apart. Adjust both the braking shoe. This is one of the common reasons.

2. Cable Is Detached

The cable may lose either on both sides or on a single side. If the cable becomes loose, the car will roll down when keeping stationary. The cable should be attached to the rear brake so that the parking brake get work. These are also common symptoms of parking brake stopped working.

3. Cable Is Loose At The Handle

The nut where the cable is attached to the handle becomes loose. If this happens, there will be a loose cable, and pulling the handle will not engage the parking brake. This is a very uncommon symptom of a parking brake stop working.

4. Rusted Bell Crank

If you don’t use the parking brake for a long time, the bell crank noise will arise because it becomes rusted. this bell crank is nothing but the lever that sits near the front brake of the car. If you use the parking brake, this will not happen again.

How To Fix A Faulty Parking Brake?

If you notice your car’s emergency brake stop working, there are various ways to stop your vehicle without causing an accident or corrosion.

1. The Freeze Parking Wheel Can Be The Reason

Mainly in cold weather ice can be the cause of frozen the parking cable. To solve the problem you have to turn on the engine because the engine warm can let the ice and disengage the parking brake then rev the engine because t it helps to heat the engine fast so that the melting process of ice also increase then try to disengage the parking brake several times after the engine heats up a bit. This can break the remaining ice.

If you live in an area where low temperature is the season most of the time, before engaging the parking gear to think twice about this problem.

2.  Rust On Parking Wheel

The parking brake can be rusted for over a year. If the parking brake gets rusted, the cable attached to the brake gets stuck.

If rust is the reason, you can do one thing only if you are comfortable with doing this. Disturb the brake by applying and releasing the brake many times then back between drive and reverse again and again to slightly move the car back and forth this can remove some of the rust.

By visual inspection, you can check for the rest of the parking brake cable underneath the car. If the cable part looks rusted, you have to change the parking brake.

3. Your Parking Brake Stop Working Due To Left On Too Long

If you engage the parking brake for too long, it might stop working. Leave your parking brake only for a limited period. If you are headed out of the town or don’t plan to drive your car for a while, avoid using the parking brake.

4. If Parking Brake Become Engaged

Pulling the brake with all effort can get the brake’s shoes stuck against the wall of the wheel drum and even stretch out the cable that connects from the brake handle to the wheel. If you tried to release the parking brake with no lock, you have to call a tow truck to take your car to the mechanics.

If you do not have any contact of toe truck, don’t hesitate to call either police as they have contact of tow company or take help of roadside assistance only if you have covered your insurance.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Parking Brake?

Most parking brake cables should be repaired due to wear and tear, Replacing the parking brake can cost 20$ to 400$. For pricing any mechanical repair, the cost divide between part cost and labor cost. Usually, the parking brake cost below 25$ remaining additional price depends upon the labor cost which varies from mechanics to mechanics.

We suggest you if you know some technician work, change the brake by yourself after reading this article because this is the one of the maintenance that you can do yourself to save the labor cost.


If your parking brake is engaged, it will not prevent you from driving but it does when you park your car at an inclined position. The transmission may slip it off the park and the vehicle will roll down the slope.

We recommended changing the parking brake system if your car becomes more than ten years old.

Maintenance is a must otherwise you have to pay more for repairs.

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