Every other year my parking brake fails inspection. The problem is almost always the parking brake levers and actuators have froze. Typically, I take it apart, clean off any brake dust and rust, add a little antiseize lubricant (Permatex Aluminum), and reinstall. This buys me a year or two before it seizes again. The vehicle gets driven a few times a month but it sits outside. I can hammer on it from the outside and get a few days out of it, but I really hate taking this apart all the time to repair it, it's time consuming especially with the disc/drum combo. I could replace it, but I'm not sure it would be any different. What advice do you have for solving this (for more than a few years anyway)? Keep in mind I live in a snow belt where they use lots of salt on the roads.

Parking Brake Lever

  • Do you use the brake?
    – GdD
    Oct 13, 2020 at 15:26
  • @GdD yes, its a standard.
    – rtaft
    Oct 13, 2020 at 15:28
  • As an off the cuff suggestion, I'd consider using a different lubricant. Oct 13, 2020 at 15:35
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 I typically use Permatex Aluminum
    – rtaft
    Oct 13, 2020 at 15:41
  • I would focus on trying to keep salt and water out of the drum.
    – GdD
    Oct 13, 2020 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


Anti-seize isn't actually the product you are looking for, it's designed to keep threads from seizing, not to lubricate parts that are moving often. What you want is an actual brake lubricant that will stay on the parts and not get rubbed off or dry out. There are a load of fully synthetic specialist brake greases, I'd recommend one of those, or a marine grease.

  • I ended up ordering replacements that are coated to prevent rust, combined with using a lubricant instead of anti-seize hopefully will do the trick.
    – rtaft
    Oct 26, 2020 at 18:38

Besides the already provided answer to use grease instead of anti-seize:

  • If the car has a manual transmission, do not pull the parking brake up as hard as you can. Pull it up lightly and leave the car in gear.
  • Periodically walk up to the vehicle when it's parked and move the parking brake handle through its full range of motion a few times to re-lubricate the lever.

You may consider looking for thicker/heavier chassis grease that is meant to remain on ball joints and such instead of bearing grease that is meant to be contained in the bearing by seals. Hopefully the brake grease is more like chassis grease in this regard.

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