How Long Does an Emergency Parking Brake Cable Last?

Your emergency parking brake is something all vehicles come with. It consists of an emergency/parking brake cable which connects the parking brake shoes to the parking brake lever. This steel cable is very thin and it runs under your car. The way it works is that you pull up on the emergency parking brake lever, which causes the cable to then press the parking brake shoes against the drum or rotor. There is no brake fluid used in this process. It’s handy to use when parking on hills as it will ensure your car doesn’t roll.

What can happen over time is that the cable can start to rust, become weakened, and then break. This typically happens if you don't use the brake on a regular basis. That’s not to say it can’t break even if you do make use of the emergency parking brake regularly. A good idea is to have a rust penetrant chemical sprayed right on to the cable from time to time. This can help fight off the formation of rust. Should it break and stop working, you won't want to leave it in this condition. This is part of your vehicle's braking system.

Here are some signs that your emergency parking brake is no longer working. Keep in mind there is no set mileage for replacing it rather it has to do with wear and tear and how much you actually use it:

  • The Park Brake Warning Light may come on this is a sure-fire signal that something isn't working properly. A professional mechanic can check the codes to figure out exactly what is going on.

  • You may have a problem releasing the parking brake. This can happen if you don't use it often. It seizes up due to rust build-up. Rather than force it, it’s best to place a call to a certified mechanic to have it looked at so you don’t cause additional damage.

  • If you engage the emergency parking brake and your car still rolls, clearly it is no longer working properly. This could be due to a broken emergency parking brake cable.

The emergency parking brake cable is what engages this all-important braking feature. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your emergency/parking brake cable is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book an emergency/parking brake cable replacement service with a professional mechanic.


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John

27 years of experience
1019 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Ford F-150 L6-4.9L - Emergency / Parking Brake Cable Replacement (Driver Side) - Pearland, Texas
This Is The BEST Man, Person, And Mechanic!! This Is My 3rd Time Using YourMechanic.com, With John Conner Being THE Mechanic. He Is Professional, Respectful, Punctual, Knowledgeable, And Steadfast! I Am The Mother Of A Cop And A Marine And I Have Adopted John In My Spirit As My Mechanic Son!!!
Ford F-150 - Emergency / Parking Brake Cable Replacement (Center) - Pearland, Texas
WOW!! To Begin, I Was Leary About This Online Mechanic And Entering My Card Information. Then I Realized, This Is The Future! If You Have Netflix, Or Shop Amazon, Then They Have Your Card Information. So Why Not An Online Mobile Mechanic? It Took Me A Few Attempts And Then I Went For It! All Of My Issues Were Listed. I Checked The Proper Boxes. I Had The Parts Already, So I Booked An Appointment, And WOW! It Showed Me The Mechanic That Was Capable Of Handling My Issues, It Showed The Available Dates And Time Slots And BAM! I Hit Submit And Never Looked Back! John Conner Was A Wizard! I Am Beyond Grateful And Happy!! And Plan On Only Using YourMechanic.com!!!

Cesar

9 years of experience
292 reviews
Cesar
9 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Emergency / Parking Brake Cable Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Renton, Washington
Replaced my e-brake and head cover gasket in such an efficient and timely matter! Took the time to retrieve the correct parts for my car. Was extremely patient and professional.
Hyundai Tiburon - Emergency / Parking Brake Cable Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Seattle, Washington
Cesar did an excellent job, was very honest and competent. At no point did I feel he wasn't being totally straight with me.

Christopher

20 years of experience
304 reviews
Christopher
20 years of experience
Mazda Miata L4-1.8L - Emergency / Parking Brake Cable Replacement (Center) - Wesley Chapel, Florida
An amazing mechanic! He comes in on time and gets the job done in a timely fashion, can't recommend him enough!

Ben

41 years of experience
1410 reviews
Ben
41 years of experience
Dodge Dakota V6-3.7L - Emergency / Parking Brake Cable Replacement (Passenger Side) - Houston, Texas
Thanks again Ben! You are fantastic! 珞 Thank You for your service to our country, and the service on my truck! I will refer anyone to you! Your friend in JESUS HOLY NAME AMEN!!! James! 

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