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Why no car alert you when you have hand brake on

I have a 2008 Toyota Rav4. The brakes wore because i kept forgetting to release the hand brake before i drive. Now i just got a brand new 2017 mini cooper. And i made a same mistake today and drove for about a mile then realized the hand brake was still on. Why no car alert you when you put on a drive mode while the hand brake is on. I know the light is on but why not beep sound or some sound? Even new cars don’t have this feature. How come?

Good grief guy, you can’t find a repeatable routine to start your car - fasten seat beat - put in gear - release hand brake ?


My 11 year old accord beeps quite obnoxiously at me if the handbrake is pulled while moving more than 1 or 2 mph. If its an auto and you are parking on flat ground then dont use the handbrake, then you dont have to worry.

I am actually surprised that you drive your car without noticing the difference in behavior when driving with the emergency brake on.


Different cars have different features. The only time I use the hand brake is when I’m on a hill so just quit using it.

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If you can’t tell the difference when you’re driving, then you’re clearly not putting on the parking brake firmly enough, which defeats the point. Apply it correctly and you shouldn’t have this issue any more.

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There is a light on the dash that TELLS you your parking brake is on. You want a warning beeper. Why??

Learn to LOOK at your dash occasionally. It is there for a reason. Get in the habit of removing your parking brake before putting the car into gear. If you can’t learn to drive properly then STOP driving. You will do yourself and the rest of us a favor.

Don’t whine to us about the lack of warning bells.


The only time that I don’t use my e-brake is when my Outback is parked on the level floor of my garage at home. I use the -e-brake at all other times, simply because it is possible for vehicles to move/roll when they are held solely by the park pawl. Additionally, when the e-brake is not frequently used, it is possible for rust to form on the brake cable and cause problems when trying to apply the brake.

When my e-brake is set to its maximum, the vehicle will not even move. The feel of “straining” against the force of the e-brake is an undeniable indicator that the e-brake was applied.

Just an FYI, My wife’s 16 year old Saab has a warning beep for the parking brake as does my '13 Mustang.

Some people use “phone/wallet/keys” as a mantra headed out the door to not forget them.
(Maybe because there are no warning chimes or beeps to help. :wink:)

This driver should use something like “start/shift/release(brake)” as a mantra.

No alert system can compensate for a demonstrated inability to learn from your mistakes.
All I can suggest is that if you really don’t need the handbrake you train yourself not to use it.

Or perhaps you can hang a big red tag from the steering wheel when you park that says “RELEASE HANDBRAKE”. Sort of like the safety streamers we used to put on our aircraft in the Air Force when they were parked.

In the mid-late eighties, I worked with a woman who drove to work in the winter morning gloom and during rain/snow storms without turning on her lights. When I mentioned to her that she should really use her lights–in the interest of safety–she stated that she had killed her battery a few times because of failure to turn off her lights when parking, and in order to not have to replace her battery prematurely, she simply drove in those conditions without lights.

At that point in automotive development, most cars already had a “lights on” warning chime, but apparently her Hyundai Excel was not equipped with that device. In any event, she was apparently not able to learn from her prior mistakes, and instead risked being in an accident rather than run the risk of killing her battery.

You can add this; you may have to DIY.

I saw a giant motorhome pulled over on the freeway, a bright red glow emanating from its underside. I went to the cab, talked to them, looked at the dash, pointed out that they hadn’t released the emergency.

I’ve done this. I added an idiot light to remind me that my headlights are on.

I use it all the time; never know when somebody’s going to run into it.

When driving you should be periodically looking not just front, back, left, and right.
But also at the dash board.
Bad things will happen if the oil light comes on, or the temp gauge goes to the top.


if the continual extra cost of having to replace the brakes on your old car wasn’t a deterrent itself, i don’t believe a warning buzzer isn’t going to do much to help you out.


My routine with Manual Transmission (M/T) is slightly different. Insert key in ignition switch, Fasten seat belt. Place right foot on brake pedal and slightly depress. Release parking brake. Fully depress clutch pedal with left foot. Shift transmission to neutral (I am reaching the age group that accidentally installs drive-throughs). Start vehicle. I frequently check for warning lights.

Just make a big red streamer for the parking brake printed with “Release Before Driving” instead of “Remove Before Flight”!

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LOL, yup, that’s what I was referring to!

I am pretty sure that my VW Bug would do just that. Not that I ever forget to release it, but it beeps when I want to get out of it and the lights are still on. Bugs are very smart; perhaps could be your next choice of a car

There is red light in the dashboard that tells you if the e-brake is on. If you park on a incline then you should instinctively release the handle before you go.