Driving with Parking Brake Engaged!

I own a 1964 Ford Falcon and accidentally left the parking brake on today and drove it for several miles before realizing it. Did I do damage to the braking system? The back wheel hub caps were pretty warm when I got home but I was unable to sense any resistance while I was driving and obviously this car has no idiot light that you forgot to disengage the brake.

Probably no harm greater than unnecessary wear on the pads.

pull the drums and shake out the dust (wear a rag to prevent breathing the dust) and inspect the shoes and wheel cylinders. If you had the parking pedal pressed to the floor and drove without noticing the drag the brakes must need some attention.

I just had the entire brake system redone in October- I did the same stupid thing one other time before I had the brakes redone and I wasn’t able to notice a drag that time either- I hardly ever drive the car- maybe once a week at the most.

I wouldn’t bother pulling the drums. You did wear a fraction of an inch or a few millimeters of the rear brake shoes, and that’s it. You indicate that you have new brakes.
The parking brake just pulls the shoes tight to the drum. It does not continue to exert pressure as the shoe wears. When you drove with the parking brake engaged, you may have lost 1/32nd" of the 1/2" thick shoes at most, on a rear brake.
Do nothing. You’re fine. If it makes you feel better, back down a decline and hit the brakes hard to auto-adjust (tighten) the rear brakes. No worries. Don’t spend any money or lose sleep.

It has brake shoes and drums on the rear–and most likely on the front also.
Brake pads and rotors on a '64 Falcon? I don’t think so!

In my world pads can be on shoes, never even imagined disc brakes on the car. Google drum brake pads, you will see I am not alone. (ps you are a great contributor) apology requested.

If the brakes weren’t smoking and it didn’t smell like a fried clutch you absolutely didn’t

do any damage.

If you want an apology for pointing out your use of the wrong terminology, then you have it.


P.S. Thank you for the compliment!

They were probably smoking a little- And there was definitely a smell- At least no fire though- I just ran into a situation where the car next to me had lots of smoke coming from his wheels- I looked over and could see flames coming from the brakes!! Btw I have driven the car since then and it seems to be braking normally so far :).

Since you smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the brakes I’d recommend pulling the drums and checking the condition of the pads and the drums’ frictional surfaces, and checking the cylinders in the brakes out, as well as flushing the existing fluid out with new fluid. You easily could have glazed the drums and/or shoe pads and probably boiled the fluid. And you could have also damaged the seals in the brake cylinders.

With all due respect Mb, the OP mentioned he only smelled a brake problem but the vehicle next to him was the one with the flaming brake.

You’re right. Doggoned bifocals!