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

asked by on November 09, 2015

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

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

Abs light, Trac light, service vehicle light on, brake pedal sinks to floor hard to stop vehicle

During the service of these components, the brake hose bolted to the caliper is not required to be removed. If it was removed and the brake system was not bled properly, air trapped in the system can cause your symptoms....

Car shakes after driving for 5 minutes.

These could be two separate issues, but they could also be related. The brake booster uses engine vacuum to provide braking assist. So, if you are having engine performance problems, you might also have a lack of braking assist. This...

Car not going in reverse

I see several technical service bulletins (TSB) regarding your transmission. However, the only transmission related recall is for the torque converter, not the transmission itself. The initial symptoms of a faulty torque converter would not be the ones you are...

Related articles

5 Signs Your Car Isn't Shifting Correctly
Improper shifting is a sign of car transmission problems. The solution might be simple or complex, but get it inspected to avoid expensive repairs.
How Long Does a Brake Drum Last?
The front and rear brakes on a car take a lot of abuse over time. On most older vehicles, the front brakes will...
I Hit the Brakes Very Hard. Did I Create a Flat Spot on My Tires?
Almost Almost everyone, at some point in his or her driving experience, will slam on the brakes. Slamming on the brakes is generally more than just an emotional response to a situation. When you're avoiding an accident or reacting to...