Q: Do I need to fix my parking brake on my automatic car?

asked by on

I drive an automatic car and my parking (emergency) brake no longer works. Do I really need a parking brake when the “park” position on my shifter works fine? I angle the wheels when parking on an incline.

I would have to say yes! Cars are required to be equipped with a parking brake. The parking brake assists the transmission in keeping the vehicle stationary. When you put your vehicle in “park,” a metal rod about the size of a pinky finger (called the parking pawl) slips into a notch that holds the transmission in place. All the weight of your car is resting on this one rod inside your transmission. Therefore, it is important to get your parking brake fixed to avoid damage to your car if the transmission cannot hold the weight of the car alone.

It is recommended to aim your wheels toward the curb as an extra precaution if your parking brake fails.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Do I need to fix my parking brake on my automatic car?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: key problem

It sounds like when the drive shaft broke it may have damaged the transmission linkage and is not letting the transmission go all the way to Park. This will prevent the key from turning to the locked position. If you...

Q: What does the parking brake warning mean?

If your parking brake is on, you’ll see the Parking Brake light on the dash. However, you will also see a warning shown in the vehicle information display that tells you the parking brake is set. This warning is meant...

Q: All four brakes locking up after being driven for about 45 minutes

Hi there, if work was recently done on the master cylinder or brake booster, check to see if the brake push rod (manual or power assisted) has too little free play. If it is too tight, the master cylinder piston...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...