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Emergency Brake

My husband and I have a debate. Every time he parks the car he uses the emergency brake no matter if the parking space is flat or not. I only use the brake when I am on a steep hill. He tells me by using the emergency brake it constantly releases fluid that makes the brake work better. My problem is that we switch cars and sometimes he puts the brake on and sometimes he doesn’t, which means I drive with the brake on. I noticed how stiff it use to be versus how it is now. The Question I have is? Is he right? or by constantly using the brake does it make it worse? I’m certain I’m ruining the brake because I don’t realize he turned it on.

Use the parking brake when you park - that’s what its for. I have no idea what his idea is about releasing fluid - that’s nutty. But on many cars use of the parking brake does help keep the rear brakes in adjustment - that varies by car. Either way, though, it is a safety mechanism & - if its an automatic - saves wear/stress on the parking pawl which is inside of the transmission.

Remember to take the brake back off before you drive. Its pretty simple.

  1. You are ruining the brakes driving with the parking brake on.
    b. Using the parking brake doesn’t ‘release fluid that makes the brake work better’.
    III. Since you both use it sometimes, would be a good idea for you just to always use it, or come up with some way to remember to check if it’s on.

Frequent use of the parking brake (formerly called the emergency brake) is a good idea. It keeps the mechanism from getting rusty and becoming unworkable as it is on many cars where it is never used at all. Let him continue doing it his own way.

Remember to release it when you start to drive. That’s simple enough. Say, isn’t there a red light on the dashboard to remind you?

Your husband is right (except for the releasing of brake fluid theory) and you should not drive with the parking brake on.

Since you should be checking the instrument panel when you drive, in case any warning lights come on, you shouldn’t end up driving with the parking brake on.

To give essentially the same answer with slightly different wording…

While Hubby is wrong about that “releasing fluid” thing, the reality is that the e-brake should be used whenever the vehicle is parked.

If you (wifey) have driven with the e-brake engaged on more than one occasion, then you only have to look in the mirror to find a person who is not a good driver. A responsible driver will always check his/her dashboard/instrument panel before driving in order to verify that everything is as it should be. If you are not in the habit of looking at the instrument panel and the warning lights on that panel, then in addition to wearing out the e-brake, you can look forward to things like destroying an engine because you did not realize that it was overheating.

When you get into any of your vehicles, ALWAYS begin with the assumption that the e-brake has been applied. Then, ALWAYS operate the release mechanism (which varies from car to car) before placing the car in gear. If the e-brake was not actually in the “on” position, the worst that would happen is that you might have wasted a fraction of a second when you operated the e-brake release mechanism. And, if the e-brake was actually “on”, then you will have prevented excess wear and tear on that vital braking mechanism.

I’m sorry, kmfletcher, but he is essentially right, and you are totally wrong.