Parking brake, also known as emergency brake and handbrake, is a standalone braking setup that is not connected to the hydraulic brake system of the car by any means. The primary purpose of the parking brake is to stop the car in emergency situations or when it is parked. The parking brake is an essential car safety component and must be appropriately used to avoid any mishap.
With automatic transmissions becoming regular in vehicles, many drivers have started considering parking brakes as a redundant component. However, that’s not the case at all. Parking brakes are as important today as they were before the introduction of the auto transmission.
Weary Parking Pawl and Dependable Parking Brakes
When parked, the output shaft of an automatic transmission is locked in a place through a ‘parking pawl, lodged into the output’s notch ring. Parking pawl is a pin and wears down like any other mechanical component with regular use. While it’s not common, parking pawl can tear down or dislodge from the ring to free the output shaft in turning position.
If you haven’t engaged the parking brake, then the malfunctioning of parking pawl can lead to a major mishap, particularly if you have parked your car on a slanted surface. Regardless of the working condition of parking pawl, it is always better to park your vehicle by putting it on the parking brake. Even in manual transmissions, it is better to park your car with engaged parking brakes instead of leaving the transmission in a gear.
There are more reasons for using the handbrake. They are called parking brakes for a reason!
In an unfortunate scenario where a parked car is badly hit by another vehicle, the use of the parking brake can help in minimizing possible damages. For instance, a car with engaged parking brakes will not roll away and lead to further damages.
Reduce Parking Pawl Strain
In order to cut down the strain on parking pawl, always engage the parking brake while your foot is still on the braking pedal.
Regular Use Is Important
If you don’t use parking brakes on a regular basis, it can lead to the corrosion of the cable and shafts operating its mechanism. In such cases, you won’t be able to use the break even when you want to. It will either get too stiff or the cable will start snapping.
Good parking practices are important to protect your vehicle and of the others. Apart from acing your parking skills, it’s equally important to park your car in the right spot. With the internet, it has become really convenient to sort out your parking spots in advance. There are some good online platforms that let you search for a parking spot for a certain time slot at a particular location.