Car operates erratically with parking brake on



Not that I make a habit of this, but if I forget and leave the parking brake on with my 2007 Camry, and the streets are at all slick, the car is completely out of control. Does this sound normal? What is the problem apt to be?


The problem is that you aren’t supposed to drive the car with the parking brake on!
(The parking brake goes to the back wheels only, so your front wheels are dragging your back wheels around.)


When you brake your rear wheels only with the parking brake, you run the risk of loosing control. It is “normal”. I have done this too. The trick to avoiding messing up, is to first check all dash lights which I don’t do…and two, apply the brake much more firm than you are now, so the drag is more difficult to overcome just to get moving before you can get any speed up…I’m a parking brake “forgetter” too, and this helps.


The front wheels are turning and the rear wheels aren’t. Of course the car will be out of control!


I am curious. Does ABS get involved with this?

But, generally if you are often taking off with the parking brake set, you need to reassess your driving habits. No offense intended; I review my driving practices all the time. It’s the only way to minimize accidents.


It’s normal. Be a “normal” drive and quit leaving the parking brake on. This can be a dangerous and expensive proposition if you don’t.


Thanks everyone.


I’m going to cut OP some slack, only because I became an equally deficient driver when I bought a car with a foot parking brake that I use a lot and a dash board with more lights than I can keep up with. In a gazillion years of driving I’ve never had this parking brake amnesia before with hand brakes. It suddenly appeared in old age and foot brakes and a car with a motor strong enough to drive through the parking brake. If it’s a 4cyl Camry with a hand brake…I’m with you and say a mental check list is now in order.


The solution is to buy cars with automatic release of the parking brake.


“automatic release systems were a safety hazard, since there would be no protection against accidentally knocking the transmission into gear.”