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I have a 2005 Nissan Altima.

Yesterday when I was driving I put the car in reverse and then when I put the car back in drive the car wouldn’t move, it felt as though I was driving with the brakes pushed or the E-brake on. I had not put the E-brake on and it was my third time driving the car.

The car did not fix itself until I pulled the E-brake up extremely hard and then put it back down. Is my E-brake broken? Or is there something wrong with my brakes?

  • Is this a pedal type ebrake or a handle type? The most likely explanation is that the ebrake was applied, at least partially and you didn't realize. It's easy to do with either type. – GdD Feb 8 '18 at 14:17
  • @GdD The OP stated they "pulled the e brake up extremely hard and then put it back down" . ;-) – CharlieRB Feb 8 '18 at 16:12
  • Oh there you go @CharlieRB, reading things thoroughly again... – GdD Feb 8 '18 at 16:19
  • Note to self (and readers): E-brake here is emergency brake, not electronic brake – Zaid Feb 9 '18 at 3:18
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There may not be anything wrong, but we can't tell you for sure. The parking brake may just be out of adjustment.

When you pull the handle, if there is a lot of travel before there is resistance, the brakes may be very worn and need to be replaced.

As much as we want our cars to GO, they also need to STOP. It may be worth having the brakes inspected to ensure there isn't something more major going on. The last thing you want is for them to strand you somewhere or not work at all.

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Emergency brakes of that type rarely set themselves, it's more likely that your emergency brake was partially engaged inadvertently. Perhaps a bag or sleeve got snagged on it, or someone pulled it without realizing, it happens. If it doesn't happen again then that's most likely the culprit and there's nothing to worry about.

If you have trouble releasing it then it needs to be fixed, the mechanism might need lubrication or perhaps you have an old cable. If it keeps engaging without any input from you then it's the sign of a more serious problem and you should get it looked at right away.

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