What Happens When You Drive With The Parking Brake On?

Posted on: 4 July 2018

It may seem like an odd problem, but it's one that occurs quite often. Many people don't realize that the car can still move even when the parking brakes have been applied. Unfortunately, the car isn't designed to run in this condition, and there will be several issues when this happens.

The types of problems you'll face when driving with the parking brakes on will depend on how much the brake was applied. If the brakes were only lightly applied, you may get away with it.

Inability to Apply Brakes

This is one of the more extreme consequences of driving with the parking brake on. When the parking brake is engaged, and the car is running, you'll have brake pads rubbing against each other constantly. This friction will produce a lot of heat, and this can cause the brake fluid to start boiling.

Due to the unique nature of the hydraulic system, the brake fluid has to be in a liquid state to work. When it boils and starts to turn into a gas, it won't be able to transmit pressure to your brakes. Therefore, nothing will happen when you step on the pedal.

Damaged Brakes

This is a very likely scenario if you drive with your parking brake on. If the brake is lightly engaged, the damage will be minimal. The brake pads may become slick, and this will make it a little harder to stop the car. However, the pads should be back to normal after a period of regular braking.

If the brake was engaged all the way, the level of damage will be significant. The pads will experience a great deal of wear, the drum/disc might warp, or the lining may crack or fail.

Damage to Other Components

The biggest issue when you drive with your parking brake engaged is the damage may not be limited to only the brake system, depending on how long the car runs in this condition or how much the brake was applied.

The bearing of the wheel might be damaged due to the excess load that's placed on it, and other parts near the brakes might also be damaged. You might even need transmission-repair services because running the car under these conditions puts more strain on this system, too. If your car was recently operated with the parking brake on, ensure it's inspected for any signs of damage.

To learn more, talk to companies like George's Eastside Shell.