Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Parking Brake Release Cable Last?

parking brake cable

Your car’s parking brake is engaged and disengaged separately from your primary braking system. A steel cable runs from the lever or parking brake cable to the back to activate the brake, and a release cable triggers the mechanism when you want to disengage the parking brake.

The parking brake release cable is attached to the same pedal or lever as the cable that engages the system (often part of the same cable in a Y configuration, but this varies from one make and model to another). Over time, the cable can stretch. It’s also possible for the attachment points to corrode and rust, freezing the cable, or even breaking. If the cable or connectors/attachments breaks while the parking brake is engaged, you will not be able to disengage the system.

There is no set lifespan for your parking brake release cable. The cable’s lifespan will be determined by a number of different factors, including the area in which you live (for instance, road salt in northern areas can greatly reduce the life of a release cable, but those in warmer climates may have little wear and tear).

To maximize the lifespan of your parking brake and associated components, it’s important to have the parking brake inspected and adjusted regularly. This should be a part of normal service.

If the parking brake release cable fails with the parking brake engaged, you will not be able to drive the car. Trying to do so will definitely damage the braking system, and could damage other components.

Watch for the following symptoms that indicate your parking brake cable is nearing the end of its life:

  • Parking brake is difficult to disengage
  • Parking brake won’t disengage or requires several tries to disengage
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...


Related questions

Q: I did my brakes on my santa fe all except the rear passenger rotor. this morning the e brake on the rear passenger side locked up

The cable that you are referring to is made of ordinary steel and thus is subject to a lot of rust and corrosion. If rusted, it is possible that the cable is simply failing to retract in the cable sheath,...

Q: Emergency brake not working right

The parking brake is part of the rear brakes. If your brakes do not hold you on a hill, then the rear brakes are either worn-out, or in-need of an adjustment. I recommend that you have a mechanic, such as...

Q: Hi Michael. I have a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser. The parking brake will not engage. When I pull it up it falls back down. It is rarely

The pawl in the parking brake lever assembly may have gotten out of position and so the pawl doesn't stay engaged with the teeth on the handle lever. A close inspection will reveal a fault like that. As far as...