I am a new driver and have been driving only for a week.

Yesterday, I did not disengage the hand brake completely before I started to drive.

Because the car started moving as it normally would, I did not realize the hand brake was still partially engaged.

I heard a beeping sound in my car but couldn't figure out the reason because I did not see a warning light/symbol flash.

It was 3.5 mile drive from work to home. I went at the speed of 25 mph for the most part. However, during the last 10 minutes of the drive I went at 35 mph. That is when I started feeling some resistance and a distinct burning smell in the car. I reached home safely and then realized it was the handbrake.

I started the car again today and everything appears to be working fine.

However, I am very worried that I have damaged the car. What damage could have occurred in this scenario?

What are a few signs that I should look for to make sure my back wheels and brakes are functioning correctly.

Thank you!!

1 Answer 1


Don't worry about it too much, but do have the rear brakes inspected. Worst case, the friction material got glazed or warped (or both) by the heat. Depending on the exact type of rear brakes you have, the hand brake may have it's own friction material, meaning your actual brakes (the pedal-operated ones) are still fine.

Do get into the habit of pushing the hand brake all the way down. There is a red indicator light on your dash that will tell you the hand brake is applied, but it needs to be above a certain amount. Play with your hand brake to figure out how far up the handle can be without the light coming on.

  • 1
    I drove the car to work today. I felt like the car was not as smooth as it used to be day before yesterday. I am not sure, if thats me overthinking :)
    – user23242
    Oct 20, 2016 at 17:05
  • 1
    @user23242 It's easy to imagine things when you think something is wrong. The absolute only thing that this cold affect is the brakes. So, what do you mean by "not as smooth"?
    – tlhIngan
    Oct 20, 2016 at 17:08
  • 1
    Like some vibrations...But it may just be the uneven roads or my imagination.
    – user23242
    Oct 20, 2016 at 17:16
  • 1
    During cruising...brakes were working fine
    – user23242
    Oct 20, 2016 at 17:19
  • 1
    @user23242 Probably your imagination then. The hand brake is completely disengaged this time, right? :)
    – tlhIngan
    Oct 20, 2016 at 17:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .