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Most vehicles are equipped with a manual emergency brake, controlled by either a pedal beside the brake pedal or a lever between the driver and front passenger. A manual emergency brake, or parking brake, is operated by a mechanical cable that engages emergency brake shoes in the rear brakes to hold your vehicle steadfast in all situations.
A vacuum-operated emergency brake works a little differently. When the emergency brake is engaged by the driver, a small vacuum switch supplied with air is activated which provides vacuum to the parking brake control switch. This switch engages the parking brakes by either cable or vacuum, depending on design. Most vehicles equipped with vacuum-operated emergency brakes also automatically engage the parking brake when the ignition is turned off. When the ignition is turned on, the emergency brake releases on its own. The emergency brake can be difficult to release if the brake vacuum switch is faulty or leaking and may require the manual release to disengage it.
If the emergency brake vacuum switch is faulty, it will have to be replaced by one of our expert technicians. As there are no maintenance requirements for the brake vacuum switch, it will only need to be checked if there is a related symptom.
If the parking brake will not disengage, your vehicle cannot be driven. If you do drive with the parking brake on, you can cause overheating or excessive wear to your brakes, requiring expensive additional repairs. It may also be hard to control your vehicle with the parking brake engaged. Although it may only seem like an annoyance, it is important to replace your faulty emergency brake vacuum switch swiftly.