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I had to get new brakes, front and rear. I really shouldn't have needed them with less than 34,000 miles on a 2004 car, but the mechanic told me something I've never, ever heard before in my life: That I should be using the emergency brake every time I park my car. He explained why. Twice. I guess I understand now. He explained it again to the other guy in the waiting room. He'd never been told to use his, either.

Another problem comes from the fact that the self adjusting mechanism on certain brake systems uses the parking brake actuation to adjust the brakes. If the parking brake is never used, then the brakes never get adjusted.
So I'm putting this out there in case it could help someone else.

Also, he said if you don't use it and you live in areas with snow and rain and salt, the cables can become corroded.

On cars with automatic transmissions, the parking brake is rarely used. This can cause a couple of problems. The biggest problem is that the brake cables tend to get corroded and eventually seize up causing the parking brake to become inoperative. By using the parking brake from time to time, the cables stay clean and functional.
I have to say it really irritated me that the guys at the car wash always put my emergency brake on. Now I know why. :oops:
 

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I don't think any man in my family uses the emergency brake. I always do, and get "laughed at." Years ago I let my nephew use my car while his was being fixed. He parked it in the driveway and came in for a minute. When he left, he yelled, "Where's the car?" I was sure he was kidding, but there was no car in the driveway. 8O He had left it in park, and it took a driverless ride down the driveway, acrross the road, through the neighbor's farm fencing, down her hill, and finally stopped when the open door got caught on something... a tree, I believe. :(

My husband and nephew got the car out (it went to car heaven....) and immediately fixed the farm fencing that had been knocked over. However, the neighbor wanted a professional job, even though it was better than it had been, new, and very secure. "I guess I'm just the helpless victim," she said. And as casually as I could, I said, "Well....I lost my car....." :(

Always use your emergency brake, everyone!
 

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Why? I hardly ever use them? :lol:

When the guy test-drove my car after installing the new pads, he said, "Man, your car is FAST! I didn't realize how fast I was going!"
 

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I love cars like that. I had a '92 Grand Prix with the Sport Suspension. WOOWEEE that was fun to drive. If you got it out on the highway it was hard to keep it under 80. I loved that car so much that when the engine blew I just had a new one put into it.
 

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My favorite car EVER! I had my little Mister for 14 years. (This wasn't my car, but same year, color and model.)








 

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Um... this is weird....
Every single person I know who drives sticks the handbrake on (I asume this is what you're calling the emergency brake), when parking. Maybe it's an auto 'box thing.... I dunno.
 

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I always use my e-brake as does everyone else who drives in the house. Didn't really know why but my dad told me to always use it, now I know why.
 

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Hugh, I had never heard of using it for an automatic car parked on an even surface. Manual cars, yes. Of course I've used it when parking on an incline.

I'm embarrassed to say that I got home from the repair shop and didn't put my emergency brake on. I remembered a couple hours later and went back out to do it. :? Remembering to take it off won't be a problem, it's in my way.
 

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I didn't know about using the emergency brake either and have never used mine. (Guess I'll start - at least some times)
My brother lives in Maine and is in the habit of using his emergency brake. Several years ago when he and my dad were visiting at my house, my brother borrowed my dads car for a short trip. When he was done he put on the emergency brake as was his habit. When my dad came out to drive his car he didn't realise it was on and was trying to drive it with the brake on. It was a typical snowy winter and the drive was covered in snow. My dads car went right off of the drive and down a slight incline. Nobody realised about the emergency brake being on until the tow truck got there and tried to haul the car out. :(
 

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Huge said:
Why do people call it the emergency brake? It's the last thing one should use in an emergency....
...I think you just answered yourself. "E"-brake, when there *is* nothing else you can do. I've always called the one in my 'vette "the parking brake". Describes its' use much better.
 

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If it makes you feel better, Hugh, my parents have always used the parking brake, even on their automatics. I didn't know anyone didn't!

EDIT: Googling suggests that using the parking brake is better for the transmission, as well. There's apparently a "parking pawl" that keeps the transmission in "park." If you use "park" without the brake on any sort of incline, the weight of the car all ends up on the parking pawl. This can apparently make it hard to get the car out of "park" again. Also, it puts strain on the parking pawl... and if the pawl breaks, the car is suddenly in neutral.
 

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Ah cool.

Heidi, by "last thing you should do" I really meant "never do". A sliding tyre has no grip, which is why people just don't slow down when they skid.
 

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Huge said:
Ah cool.

Heidi, by "last thing you should do" I really meant "never do". A sliding tyre has no grip, which is why people just don't slow down when they skid.
On the contrary, if your hydraulic brakes fail on a steep or protracted downhill incline, having a backup brake could be very useful. Knowing how to turn into a skid isn't going to do much if you're in a runaway vehicle.

Aside: Used carefully parking brakes can also be handy for starting a manual on very steep uphill slopes.
 

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marie73 said:
My favorite car EVER! I had my little Mister for 14 years. (This wasn't my car, but same year, color and model.)








That's a truly groovy set of wheels! What features did it come with?
 

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Who cares? :p That thing is sex on wheels.

Bethany said:
Huge said:
Ah cool.

Heidi, by "last thing you should do" I really meant "never do". A sliding tyre has no grip, which is why people just don't slow down when they skid.
On the contrary, if your hydraulic brakes fail on a steep or protracted downhill incline, having a backup brake could be very useful. Knowing how to turn into a skid isn't going to do much if you're in a runaway vehicle.

Aside: Used carefully parking brakes can also be handy for starting a manual on very steep uphill slopes.
You can tell who has only read racing books and never diven in his life before can't you :lol: I stand corrected.
 

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My brother lost his brakes going down a one mile, curvy hill. He knew he was going to wreck--and probably get killed...so he opened the door, kept steering, and stood on the emergency brake. That slowed him down enough to keep the car under control, and it eventually stopped. Scary!
 

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Huge said:
Who cares? :p That thing is sex on wheels.

Bethany said:
Huge said:
Ah cool.

Heidi, by "last thing you should do" I really meant "never do". A sliding tyre has no grip, which is why people just don't slow down when they skid.
On the contrary, if your hydraulic brakes fail on a steep or protracted downhill incline, having a backup brake could be very useful. Knowing how to turn into a skid isn't going to do much if you're in a runaway vehicle.

Aside: Used carefully parking brakes can also be handy for starting a manual on very steep uphill slopes.
You can tell who has only read racing books and never diven in his life before can't you :lol: I stand corrected.
I was thinking "hadn't driven in the mountains much" but that works, too. :)

I grew up in Colorado and brake failure can be a pretty big problem (mostly on big trucks). People going down a protracted downhill slope tend to put on the brakes instead of using engine braking, which can cause brake failure if the brakes overheat. Highways in the mountains generally have "runaway truck ramps" -- usually gravel roads coming off the main highway and heading straight up the mountain at a steep incline, but sometimes long gravel stretches ending in barrels and other bumpers -- along long downhills to stop runaway vehicles.
 
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