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Q: Drove with parking break on

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I drove a hybrid prius 15 hours, I think the parking break may have been on. Is that even possible? I don't think I noticed any real resistance in the gas pedal, or smell anything burning. Did I cause some serious damage? Car still breaks fine. The car did beep loudly when started for about 20 seconds, I thought it was part of start up process.

My car has 20000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi. Driving with the parking brake engaged ...

Hi. Driving with the parking brake engaged can cause some problems that may not automatically pop up. First and foremost, to answer your question if it’s even possible the answer is; it depends on the car. Some cars have a warning bell that sounds or a light on the dash that illuminates when the parking brake is active. Continued driving with the parking brake on can cause brake rotors to warp, fuel system or engine ignition problems, or the vehicles electronic control unit (computer) to act up.

Whether or not it caused serious damage or not is really difficult to determine, unless a local ASE certified mechanic comes over to inspect your vehicles brake system on site. However, if the car appears to be driving OK, it accelerates and brakes normally, you should be fine. Hope everything works out well for you and thanks for writing in.

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