37 votes
Accepted

Why does the rear of my vehicle sink when I apply the handbrake on a downward gradient?

With the handbrake on, the rear wheel is not able to rotate. When the foot brake is released the car will try to move forward. This will cause a rotational force on the rear tire. Since the rear ...
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  • 20.6k
33 votes
Accepted

When the handbrake is not working, is it safe to fully depend on putting car into park instead?

No, its up to you No No Assuming it is an automatic transmission using park is safe, there is a park pawl in the transmission that mechanically locks the output shaft, actually better than a parking ...
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  • 7,940
32 votes
Accepted

Have I damaged my car by attempting to reverse with hand/park brake up?

You are not likely to have caused any damage in this situation. If you had driven 25 or 30 km with the handbrake on then yes there would be damage.
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  • 34.4k
21 votes

Handbrake on while reversing

I'm assuming »conking the car« means that the motor stalled? You should be fine. The usual risks from driving with the handbrake are to leave it on for longer so that it overheats (which can cause a ...
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  • 525
19 votes

When the handbrake is not working, is it safe to fully depend on putting car into park instead?

According to Wikipedia, this is not advisable: Most vehicle manufacturers and auto mechanics do not recommend using the transmission's parking pawl as the sole means of securing a parked vehicle, ...
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19 votes

Why does the rear of my vehicle sink when I apply the handbrake on a downward gradient?

When you stop the car using the footbrake, all four wheels are held stationary by the brake. When you apply the handbrake, this locks the rear wheels only (in most cars) - as you then release the ...
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  • 28.6k
13 votes

Why do you use the "park" gear to park a car and not only the handbrake?

Putting the transmission into "Park" engages the "parking pawl" - essentially a metal pin that locks the output shaft of transmission (and thus the driven wheels) in place. As to why it exists - it ...
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  • 9,728
9 votes
Accepted

Can pulling up the handbrake without depressing the button wear or damage it?

Pulling the hand brake without pushing the button has no effect on the service life of the parking brake. The only thing that will wear is the ratcheting lock mechanism, and I doubt you could wear it ...
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  • 9,035
8 votes

When the handbrake is not working, is it safe to fully depend on putting car into park instead?

If you live in the UK, this will fail your annual MoT test. (For the benefit of non-Brits, the Ministry of Transport requires a standard annual roadworthiness test for all vehicles.) Other countries ...
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  • 1,509
7 votes

I drove my car about 1 km before realising that I didn't release the handbrake. Will this cause any big problems to my car?

If the handbrake was on well enough to stop the rotation of a rear tire(s), you may have created a flat spot on them due to wear. If the tires were able to spin, either adjustment of the brakes need ...
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7 votes

Have I damaged my car by driving with handbrake, do I need to take to a garage or should I ignore for now?

I would advise you have the brakes checked over.. Depending on how hard the handbrake was on and how hot everything has been.. You may just have worn down the pads/shoes a little, however a bigger ...
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  • 5,022
6 votes
Accepted

Should I pull up the handbrake as high as it will go when parked?

All you might be doing is putting the cable under more stress than it needs. The cable will stretch over time. This is normal. It will take a long time for the life of the cable to expire. I ...
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  • 538
6 votes

Did I damage my car by trying to move in reverse with the handbrake on?

No significant damage has been done. There are two potential areas that can be damaged by extended driving with the park brake on. The park brake shoes/pads will wear prematurely if the vehicle is ...
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  • 19.7k
6 votes

Handbrake Engaged for 9-10 km Driving Roughly 80 km/h

Generally speaking, keeping the parking brake engaged while driving the vehicle will heat your brake pads and potentially wear them down rapidly. If you're not hearing any grinding or squeaking on ...
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6 votes

Hand Brake Loose

It sounds like the parking brake is siezed on, hence no resistance when pulling the lever. It looks like these cars use the same calliper to apply both the foot brake and the parking brake. A common ...
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  • 20.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Immediate braking mechanism?

Simple answer - because that would be a very bad thing! As Chenmunka says, look at Newton's Laws of Motion. Or, if you don't believe them, look at videos of crash-testing - you'll see what happens to ...
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  • 28.6k
5 votes

What would cause a weak handbrake?

As you say that the handbrake mechanism is working, perhaps the shoes have just become hard and glazed due to their age and thus less effective. If this is the case there will be far less braking ...
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  • 5,022
4 votes

Help me with my hand Brakes

Yes, your parking brake has a return spring. You should be able to goto a local auto parts store to get that and the arm replaced. I also recommend you find another mechanic as most of this ...
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  • 32.8k
4 votes
Accepted

Any way to assess my brake disc condition?

So here's what I've learned in the past couple of days. Apparently there is a simple way of assessing the condition of brake discs/rotors. For every car there is a minimum thickness for the brake ...
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4 votes

On a BMW E46 330Ci, is it necessary to pull the handbrake lever when you're in 'P' mode?

So, definitely not a stupid question. As was stated in the previous answer, this does not apply to BMW's alone, but to automobiles in general. In a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission, ...
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4 votes

Is it safe if I forgot to put the handbrake on when I turn off the car?

If the vehicle is an automatic and the transmission is left in park then yes it will be ok. However it is advised that the handbrake is used when the vehicle is parked. If its a manual vehicle, then ...
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  • 5,022
4 votes

'06 Mazda3 handbrake "popped out"

Yup. I have an '08 manual transmission Mazda3 and the parking brake handle broke inside. I took the whole thing apart, but no really good way to fix it. The good news, is that it was readily ...
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  • 6,469
3 votes

I drove my car about 1 km before realising that I didn't release the handbrake. Will this cause any big problems to my car?

You may find that you have to replace your rear brake friction material sooner than you would otherwise have had to but there should be no adverse or lasting effects so don't worry.
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3 votes

VW Passat Estate B5 - Parking brake suddenly slack but cable not broken

Visual Inspection CABLE HOUSING/SHEATH You can follow the brake cable back to the rear of the car. I'm not sure if it goes to the right or left rear. In so doing you can see if it has any damage. ...
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  • 32.8k
3 votes

Did I damage my car by trying to move in reverse with the handbrake on?

I want to know if I have done any damage to my car. No, you're fine. In this question, a user asked if driving 1000 meters with the handbrake on had caused permanent damage: I drove with the ...
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  • 24.3k
3 votes

On a BMW E46 330Ci, is it necessary to pull the handbrake lever when you're in 'P' mode?

This is not BMW specific, but rather automatic car specific. Yes, it is always a good idea to use the handbrake, especially when parking on hills. This is because when you put an automatic ...
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3 votes

Antara Electronic Handbrake

The checks to be performed on a vehicle's handbrake are defined in section 3.1 of the VOSA MOT Inspection Manual. They are pretty rudimentary, essentially checking that there is one, it works on two ...
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  • 1,423
3 votes
Accepted

Keeping car in hand break or gear after it has been out on a rainy day?

If the handbrake sticks on after the car has been in the rain, you need to get the brakes serviced. One reason would be that the rear brake drums are corroded. This should not happen. My car (in the ...
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  • 2,929
3 votes
Accepted

Alarming sound for indicator symbols on the instrument cluster on Hyundai i30

There can be multiple explanations for this: 1. Disabled the speaker through OBD port (some manufactures give you an option to disable this in the software using a laptop connected to your OBD port). ...
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  • 130
3 votes

Help!! Handbrake lever not working but handbrake seems to be on?

If I should guess, I'd say your handbrake cables are both frozen. There are two steel cables running from the hand brake lever to each rear brake, acting on a small lever there. And there is a small ...
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  • 6,997

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