Emergency Brake Help

My mother-in-law moved my car and put the emergency brake on (2010 Santa Fe) when she got out. When I got into drive home, I drove about 10miles with it engaged (for some reason the light didn’t indicate it was on). When I got home I noticed a burnt rubber smell from the left rear tire. (no smoke though)

I know the damage can vary, but any test or check I can do to determine the amount of damage?


Is it still locked? I’m assuming this is a disc brake unit on the rear. Damage caused by excessive heat could possibly occur to the rotor, pads, or to the tire itself. & possibly the caliper. Most likely there is no damage though, as brakes are designed to handle a lot of heat. The only way to tell for sure is to ask a shop to remove the tire and inspect the brakes.

The brake light is probably activated by the EB lever, not the brake mechanism itself. I expect the rear brake was stuck in the locked position for some reason, possibly the emergency brake mechanism was sticking on that side. This would be more likely if you rarely use the EB yourself, in which case the cable might be a little rusty.

GeorgeSanJose, how would I tell if it is still locked? Just try pushing the car in neutral? When I pulled the handle, the pedal popped up.

Pull the rear wheels and see if the hubs spin freely. Then look at the brakes for wear. Likely no damage.

Our driveaway is an incline. After engaging/disengaging the e-brake, the light started coming back on again. If I put the car in neutral and release the regular brakes, it will quickly roll back. If I put the e-brake on in netural and disengage the regular brake, it still holds fine on the hill. I will have to pull the tire when the sun comes up to check if the hub spins freely.


Please tell us the make, model and year of your car

Then we can figure out what kind of parking brake setup you have.

@db4690‌ Its a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe

Sounds like everything’s a-okay. You should check to make certain the rotors aren’t warped, assuming you’ve got disc brakes at the rear

The 2010 Santa Fe uses drums cast into the disc with little shoes for the parking brake, a common setup these days. I’d recommend removing the disc and inspecting/replacing the shoes, as well as checking for lateral runout on the disc. These shoes really aren’t made for this level of dragging. They’re nowhere near as robust as full time shoes used to be. And enough heat to give an odor just might have warped the discs/drums.

If you really want to ensure everything is okay, you could flush the brake fluid just because of the possibility of it having been overheated.

Driving it and the brakes did not grab enough to keep you from doing so but were rubbing enough to get hot would unlikely ruin anything. If it was hot enough to boil the brake fluid you would have had hardly any brakes at all on your drive, did you notice anything like that? Disc brake pads rub the rotors anyway. Have a mechanic check it but I don’t think you did any damage and you would know if you did when you drive it again. But have it checked anyway, be safe!

I tend to agree with mountainbike

Those shoes mounted within the hat are very thin to begin with. It doesn’t take much to grind them to dust

Best to pull the rotors off and inspect the parking brake shoes