Parking Brake Test


Does anyone know of a standardized/official procedure to test the effectiveness of a parking brake?


official test…jsut try…

Put on your parking brake and see if it hold when you drive…like you would to test a manual clutch.

You could park on a hill, engage parking brake and see if car will coast down the hill.

Drive slowly and engage parking brake and see if car slows down…


Here’s the test procedure for Massachussetts safety inspection (document located at

(4) Brakes. (Non Commercial Vehicles)

(a) The inspector may operate the vehicle in the inspection bay and test the parking and service brake. The parking brake on all vehicles will be tested by accelerating the motor to approximately 1,200 to 1,300 RPMs with the vehicle in the lowest forward gear against the brake in the applied position. The vehicle will be rejected if the parking brake will not hold. The service brakes will be tested at a speed of between four and eight MPH. Service brakes must be reasonably equalized so that the vehicle does not pull noticeably to either side when applied. A test with the brake meter shall be made at a speed of 15 to 25 MPH in all questionable cases.

(b) Brakes shall be adequate to stop the vehicle from a speed of 20 MPH in not more than the following distances:

Service (foot) Brake
Pleasure Vehicles
30 feet

Trucks and Buses
40 feet

Parking (hand) Brake
All Vehicles
80 feet

  1. Computerized Plate Brake Testing, if available, may be conducted, at the option of both the inspector and the customer, to determine the safety of the braking systems. If such testing is used, the following pass/fail criteria, cutpoints, and other written supplementary specifications issued by the Registrar shall be used: