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Chacham's Journal: Chronicle: Parking brake on car stopped working, and related 19

Journal by Chacham

Being i drive a car with a manual transmission, there is no "park" on the gear shift. I've been told most people park in first gear, and while that may be true, it just feels "wrong" to me. There's a reason the parking brake is called the "parking" brake, and besides, what better pleasure is there than zooming after the final turn just to slam on the brakes a few feet later, shift to neutral, turn off the engine, and *yank* that parking brake up. It gives a bit of oomph to it all.

First gear is a bit of a standard though. I've let others drive the car, and when they do, they usually do that first-gear thing unless i warn them otherwise. Then when i go to drive, first it feels funny that the brake isn't up (to be released), and then i get a most unwelcome jerk-forward-and-stall. Arg! That idiot! Why can't he just use the parking brake?! Then again, once or twice i drove with the break on for a bit. Hey, it happens.

I did use first gear a couple times anyway, when on an incline that the parking brake couldn't handle. But that's rare, and i wonder if it was just because the parking brake had worn down a bit.

Well, just recently, the parking brake stopped working. Its goes up and down, and the light goes on, but no brake is noticeable. The break broke. Now, i'm using the first-gear trick and slipping between being okay with it and grumbling at the situation, even deabting at times if i need to use it at all in certain areas.

Yesterday, i got a long overdue oil-change and asked the mechanic to take a look. He charged forty-one dollars for the half-hour of work (besides the oil change charge) and as the bill says "may need rear calipers" (whatever those are). He added that should i get it fixed, what i paid today will be put towards the final cost.

When i got into the car, the parking brake is all the way up (the light is on too) and i can't seem to budge it. I'm thinking about getting it fixed on Monday, after i decide that i really need it.

I'm sure there's some irony here, if only i cared to find it.

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Chronicle: Parking brake on car stopped working, and related

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  • by trmj (579410)
    What's the model/year of the car? The calipers are what hold the brake pads, and they move the pads to the rotor, which spins with the tire. The brake pads (and calipers) are stationary with the car, and thus when they touch the rotors, the car slows.

    Calipers can become frozen, and don't move at all on the pins they rest on. This causes the brakes to not come in contact with the rotors, and there is no stoppage.

    This isn't a "may or may not" thing, if the mechanic looked at the calipers (easy enough to
    • by Chacham (981) *
      What's the model/year of the car?

      96 Ford Escort.

      The calipers are what hold the brake pads, and they move the pads to the rotor, which spins with the tire. ...and the red thing's connect to my.. wrist watch

      The brake pads (and calipers) are stationary with the car, and thus when they touch the rotors, the car slows.

      Hmm... interesting. So that's how...

      And the brake pads give way first so the wheel doesn't deteriorate?

      Calipers can become frozen, and don't move at all on the pins they rest on. This causes the br
      • by trmj (579410)
        And the brake pads give way first so the wheel doesn't deteriorate?
        Yes, the brake pads are made of a soft metal that wears down, and the rotors get nice and shiny but don't wear away. This is why you have to replace the brakes every so often but not the rims or rotors and such.

        96 Ford Escort
        Ew. I have no good reason to not like Fords, I just don't. Personal preference.

        Anyway, it takes about 10 minutes to pull off a tire and look at these things. If he charged you for 30 minutes of labor on top of
        • by Chacham (981) *
          Thanx for all the info.

          I have no good reason to not like Fords, I just don't.

          :)

          Wasn;t the Escort just built by them by designed by Nissan or something?

          He may just like speaking in indefinites though.

          Probably. Perhpas i can ask.
  • It is a good idea to use your parking brake for a number of reasons. But in all likelihood the actuall brakes that your lever actuates are the brakes on the back. If they are bad, then they are not working properly when you push on the brake pedal as you drive, not just when you park. I guess that sometimes this isn't the case, but I'd want to make sure.

    Using your transmission as a brake is not nice to your transmission. It is also not as safe. Finally, I have been taught that if your parking b
    • Hey, thanx for the info.

      Using your transmission as a brake is not nice to your transmission. It is also not as safe.

      When stationary?

      using the parking brake helps to keep them equalized and improves brake pad life.

      Ah, the good side to everything. :)

      and driving well

      ::shudders::
      • Well - from what I understand - when you drive an automatic, and you park on any kind of slope, they say to set the parking brake before you let your foot off the brake, so the transmission doesn't get the impact of holding the car in place. I would imagine that this could be the same with a standard, but I don't know. It seems, either way - some metal parts are going to be holding your car in place. Parts designed to stop it or the tranny.

        You can google around and dig up all kinds of info. on ho
        • set the parking brake before you let your foot off the brake, so the transmission doesn't get the impact of holding the car in place.

          Ah, i see. But when not in a slope, when the care just wants to be protected from accidental moving, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

          Thanx for all the info.
  • When I had my manual (oh how I miss it), I always parked with the parking brake and in the opposite gear. If I was pointing uphill I'd use first, downhill I'd use reverse.

    Most people these days tend to call it the "emergency brake," which I suppose it could be for automatics, but I've always used it to park, even on non-manuals.
    • Most people these days tend to call it the "emergency brake," which I suppose it could be for automatics

      Yeah, probably.

      I always parked with the parking brake

      So i'm not alone after all. :)

      and in the opposite gear

      Neat idea. Hmm...
      • Yeah, I want to agree with the GP. I drive a manual. And the 'right' way is to park in the gear opposite the direction of travel and use the parking break to reduce strain of gravity on the transmission. E.g, if you are pointing downhill when you park, you park with the drive in neutral and the parking break on. Park uphill, put it in second gear with the parking break on. If the ground is relatively flat, I don't see any reason to use the parking break other than reducing any torque on the transmission, af
        • Guess that's what preview is for...

          What I meant to write is: E.g, if you are pointing downhill when you park, you park with the drive in reverse and the parking break on. Park uphill, put it in second gear with the parking break on.

          (c'mon Slashdot, when are we going to get comment editing at-least before there are follow-ups!)
          • Thanks for the neat comment. I'll have to bear that in mind. Right now, i'm still working on getting the time to take it in. :)
  • I've been told most people park in first gear, and while that may be true, it just feels "wrong" to me. There's a reason the parking brake is called the "parking" brake

    These are not mutually exclusive options. I always park both in gear and with the handbrake set.

    Every manual car I've had (four now) has had the parking brake wear out -- more than once for the first three (maybe we just haven't had the current one long enough). I'd probably use just the handbrake if I trusted it would always work.
    • Hmm... ok.

      I'd probably use just the handbrake if I trusted it would always work.

      The plot thickens. :P
      • The appropriate parking procedure is actually derived from relatively simple logic. The problem: You're worried the car may fall down the hill. The solution: To stop your car from moving, you have to either make it so the wheels can't turn if the engine lets them, or so the wheels can't turn at all. The third, and correct, option is to combine the other two. 1. Come to a complete stop and leave your foot firmly on the brake. 2. Depress the release for the handbrake and set it (don't "ratchet" it because
        • And here's me posting it without messing up the formatting:

          The appropriate parking procedure is actually derived from relatively simple logic.

          The problem: You're worried the car may fall down the hill.

          The solution: To stop your car from moving, you have to either make it so the wheels can't turn if the engine lets them, or so the wheels can't turn at all. The third, and correct, option is to combine the other two.

          1. Come to a complete stop and leave your foot firmly on the brake.
          2. Depress the release for t
  • You drive a car and don't know or care how it works. What's a caliper? What's the master cylinder? What's a leafspring?

    You don't understand why first gear is preferred for parking.

    You don't perform basic maintenance.

    You, my boy, are friggin average. Congratulations!

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