Driving with parking brake on may seem impossible to many drivers but it actually happens all the time. Leaving the brake on is a common mistake that people make when they are driving a vehicle they are not familiar with. Many drivers also apply the brake lightly when parking, which the engine can overcome and move the wheels. You have to push the brake to the point it cannot move anymore to stop the driving of a car with the parking brake on.
How to Detect You Are Driving with Parking Brake On
You can detect the problem by noticing the lack of power from your car. It will drive slower than usual. If you keep driving at a medium speed, let’s say at 50kmh, the car will discharge a distinctive burning odor, originating from the overheated brake pad. The ‘BRAKE’ light on the dashboard will also come ON at one point.
What Happens When You are Driving with Parking Brake On
When you drive for a long time at a medium speed with the brake on, there’s a risk of damaging the brake. When you apply the brake, it creates friction between the rotors and the brake pad. The friction creates heat, which will be transferred to the brake fluid if you drive for a long time. The fluid will boil because of the excessive heat and will be unable to transmit pressure to the brakes.
The Danger of Driving with Parking Brake On
It is not dangerous when you drive at low speeds or for a short distance with the parking brake on. Even if you drive a long distance, the overheated brake fluid does not cause much harm except for putting a glaze on the brake pads. As a result, the pads will slide whenever you push the brake, making it difficult to stop the car.
However, the damage could be bigger than just glazing on the pads and lead to a serious accident. When the brake fluid is unable to transfer pressure to the brakes, the brakes will feel spongy after pressing the pedal. A non-functional brake could lead to a serious accident when you are driving at high speeds or on a busy road.
Does the Car Need any Repair?
If the brakes don’t work, you may have to replace it. Sometimes, changing the fluid or repairing the brake line can solve the problem too. Air in the line and overheated fluid cannot function as they are supposed to be.
The brake pads may need to be replaced too if they are damaged because of the overheated fluid. If pressing the brake pedal produces an animated noise, the problem is definitely with the pads.
Even if there is no damage, driving with parking brake on hastens the wearing of all the components in the braking system.