I recently bought a new vehicle (2019 Nissan Frontier) and I guess because I was not used to it I left the parking brake on and drove for about 6 km (3.7 miles) at about 50 to 60 km/h (31 to 37 mph). I noticed something was wrong when I heard a squeaking noise. I then quickly realized the parking brake was on, so I turned it off and found somewhere to park a couple of blocks away. When I got out I could smell the strong scent of burnt brakes.

I then left the vehicle to cool down for about 30 minutes while I went for a walk. When I came back I touched the rear alloy wheels and they were still surprising hot. I decided to wait another 15 minutes before driving again. Also before I drove I put the truck in neutral with the parking brake off and tried to manually roll it back and forth to check if the parking brake shoes had fused to the drum. I was able to push it back and forth, so I assume the parking brake had released.

I have since driven the truck a couple more times and when I am done I get out and touch the rear alloy wheels, they are nowhere near as warm as they were when I checked 30 minutes after the initial incident, so I doubt the parking break shoes are still rubbing the drum. However, it still smells like burnt brakes 12 hours after the incident, although not as bad. Is that normal and is it likely I have done permanent damage to anything?

I do not know if it is important but it seems my truck has rear disc brakes that have a drum brake in the center for the parking brake.

All help is appreciated.

EDIT: the squeaking stopped as soon as I disengaged the parking when I noticed it was on.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Aug 19, 2019 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


The only way to be sure is to have the condition of the parking brake checked.

They may be ok to continue but you have reduced the life.

On the other hand, you may need to replace the shoes as they are too heat damaged.

Worst case is that you have to replace the discs as well.

  • After getting home from work today I decided to check the brakes and go for a ride. Upon entering the parking garage of my building I could smell brakes. However, then things got better. - The parking brake will hold the truck on an incline. - After a 30 minute drive I could not smell anything coming from the brakes. The garage smell is probably from poor ventilation. - The rear wheels seemed to be a normal temperature. The fronts were much warmer. - The truck drove and stopped like a new vehicle. As a result I think I am going leave it as is. Aug 20, 2019 at 1:31

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