The parking brake will keep your vehicle in place while it is in park, whether you are on a slight hill or a steep grade. Furthermore, it helps to keep the weight of the vehicle off the transmission gears while in park. All cars on the road are required to have a working parking brake, so it is important that yours is in working order. This brake is a drum brake, which means it uses frictions caused by pads to make the vehicle stop. There are a few symptoms to watch out for when your parking brake drum starts to go bad.
1. Parking brake won’t hold
If you notice your parking brake will not hold, there may be a problem with the rear brake adjustment. This system holds tension on the rear brakes so when the parking brake is engaged, the rear brakes hold the car in place. The parking brake system needs to be used often to keep the correct rear brake tension. If the parking brake is not used enough, the result will be distance between the pads in the parking brake drum. A professional from YourMechanic will be able to properly diagnose this problem for you for you and make any adjustments needed.
2. Poor braking
As soon as you notice the parking brake is working, but not as well as it used to, then it is time to get it looked at. The parking brake drum can wear down over time and may need to be resurfaced, or replaced altogether. A mechanic from YourMechanic should make a distinction between the two, and properly resurface or replace the parking brake drum. This way, the problem will be properly diagnosed and the parking brake will be in good working condition.
3. Keep your parking brake working well
To keep your parking brake working well, remember to use it every so often because not using it is one of the most common reasons for failure. Most parking brake systems use a self adjuster that requires use to activate. Never drive with the parking brake engaged, as this will overheat the brake. In addition, if your Parking Brake Warning light illuminates, get your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.
If your parking brake won’t hold or the brake is not working like it used to, you may need a parking brake drum replacement. This can be done when you book a service online 24/7 at YourMechanic. Keep in mind to use your parking brake on a regular basis, and watch for warning lights on your dashboard to keep your vehicle in good working condition.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Parking Brake Drum and was authored by Spencer Clayton.