Hand brake

I hae a 2000 Toyota Camry with 40,000 miles on it.

Yesterday, I drove 5 miles yesterday, at slow residential street speed.

When I got to my destination and turned the car off, I found that the handbrake was engaged all that time!!

Why was I able to go forward at all??

Did I permanently damage something?

You probably did not see the red signal on the dash in the form of…brake shoes, indicating your brake was on. This thing happend to my wife last year.

The handbrake is not big enough and poweful enough to overcome the car’s engine. You probably did not have it on very tight either. If it was set tight you would smell it in addition to having the red light on on the dash.

You probably just caused some additional wear on the rear brakes.

In the future keep an eye on your instruments.

You may have shortened the life of the rear brake pads slightly, but if all is well, you didn’t permanently damage anything. The fact that you were able to drive without noticing the drag of the rear brakes leads me to think that maybe your hand brake is out of adjustment. I would have this checked so that you can believe the brake will hold the car while it is parked.

Unless you put the parking brake on with all your strength, the engine will be more powerful, allowing you to drive. I’m pretty sure the hand (parking) brake on your Camry operates small drum brakes in your rear wheels, not the main disc brakes, unless yours has rear drum brakes. If you have rear disc brakes all you need to do is check and see if the parking brake still works when fully applied. If not, have it adjusted. If you have rear drum brakes have them looked at when you next get your car serviced, just in case.

Like the others here, I’m concerned about why your parking brake didn’t give much resistance. If nothing changes, it may not work when you really need it. Either you’re not pulling it tight enough or it needs to be adjusted (or possibly repaired). The next time you’re on a steep hill, you should probably test the brake to see if it holds the car or not.

Test your park brake for yourself to see two things.
1- just when exactly does it engage, so you’ll learn for sure it’s on.
2- if it doesn’t work now and needs repair.

On a hill or incline set the hand brake,
put the car in neutral,
if it rolls, apply more brake till it stops.
If it doesn’t hold, get it fixed.

All three of mine need to be aaaaaaall the way on to work good.

We had a 2000 Dodge Caravan. The parking brake indicator light was in an odd position that could be obscured by the steering wheel.

One day my wife complained that the brake pedal went to the floor! DON’T DRIVE IT, I said. But when I got home the brakes were fine. Absolutely no problem.

Years later I had the brake pedal go to the floor while vacationing in Nova Scotia. But I got out and checked to find the rear brakes really hot. I realized that I drove with the e-brake engaged.

My current philosophy is to engage the e-brake really hard (so you can tell it’s on) or don’t engage it at all. Lightly engaging the brake is disallowed.

Mary, if you didn’t boil your brake fluid so that the normal service brake stopped working (pedal to the floor) then don’t worry about any damage.

Have the brakes checked just for safety sake. I had a customer drive with the park brake on and the braking material had slid from its original position due to the adhesive letting go from excessive heat.

Thank you for your response.
I will check the dashboard from now on.

Thank you. I will have the hand brake checked since I rely on it.
My daddy who was a Greyhound Bus driver taught me how to drive in 1955,
and always cautioned me to use a hand brake.

Thank you, I will have the handbrake checked and pay attention to how I engage it.

Thank you. However, steep hills are a pretty rare occurrence in Illinois.
Maybe I can do it in a parking ramp.

Thank you for your advice.
Hills are not too common in Illinois but maybe I can find a driveway in which to do the test. Paying attention to lots of little things is not as easy at 60 as it was at 40.

Thank you for your reply.
Nova Scotia is probably not the best place to have serious car trouble so I am glad you were ok. I will take your “disallowed” suggestion to heart.

Thak you for your reply.
Heavens ! I certainly don’t need trouble with my dear car at this age - both of us are getting on.