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A Sticky Brake Situation (Parking Brake Service and Maintenance)

Posted August 15, 2021 7:01 AM

We've all been there.  You park your vehicle on a steeper than usual hill and worry about it rolling down while you're running your errands.  So you decide you'll use the parking brake.  When you get back, you release the parking brake, hit the ignition, put it in gear and—uh, oh—you can feel the parking brake is still on.  It's stuck.  What do you do now?

Welcome to the world of infrequently-used parking brakes.  Yes, they do stick for several reasons. It's common for components to corrode and get locked up.  Sometimes if you have applied it extra hard, it can jam.  Could be a rusty cable, could be a spring that doesn't return the brake to its disengaged position.  Some pieces just break when they're stressed for the first time in a while. A caliper or the pivot arm it's on can also stick.

There are a few things you can try to unstick it.  Carefully rock your vehicle by putting it first in drive and then reverse.  You have to be careful doing that, though, because sometimes you can damage the transmission.  You can try working the parking brake control a few times to see if that will loosen the corrosion.  If you can't unstick it, you can try driving slowly a short distance to a repair facility near you.  Sometimes it won't cause damage to the brakes but it depends on how tightly the parking brake was applied and what was stuck.  You may also have to have your vehicle towed to a repair facility.

In any case, once you've seen these symptoms, have your vehicle brakes looked at by a professional who can fix the root of the problem.  Better yet, don't let your vehicle get in this condition; regular maintenance and inspections by a trained technician should prevent you from getting in a jam somewhere thanks to a stuck parking brake.  You could use a "brake" like that.

AutoSurgeonInc
1820 E Kalamazoo St
Lansing, Michigan 48912
517-374-8940



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    Just a word of thanks for the top notch done to Wema's Carolla and for the thoughtful communication with our Tanzanian exchange student. Not only did you fix her car, but also handled arranging towing, all in a narrow window of time. Wema is delighted to have her car back, running better than ever. Couldn't be more happy with your service!
    , 01/05/2021

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    My son limped his vehicle into Auto Surgeon's parking lot . The vehicle is on its last leg and we just needed to get it up and running for a few more weeks til my son graduates. The proper repairs were out of the budget so Bill came up with a solution that made sense for this vehicle, Bill didn't have to adapt for us but he did, and the price was more than fair. Don't hesitate to call Auto Surgeon for any repair.
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  • I have passed this place on the bus every day for 6 years and have always gotten a smile out of their sign out front having such nice little positive messages. So when I finally got a car and needed my brakes done, they were my first choice. Not only were they incredibly friendly and professional, they identified what I thought was a minor inconvenience and explained how it could be a problem down the road (pun very much intended) while fixing it for me. I will absolutely be coming back for anything I need done in the future!
    , 10/09/2020

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    Bill earns a strong recommendation for great customer service and for the excellent repair he did on my car. For all future car needs, Bill will be my first call.

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    My daughter brought her GMC in for a noise in the suspension and a air bag issue- Bill and his staff did a great job in diagnosing and repairing the vehicle with keeping us updated on the process. Thank You

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    My husband has taken his car to Auto Surgeon for many years and has nothing but praise for their expertise and customer service. We both trust that whatever the problem, we're in good hands with Bill and his team. Today it was my car's turn to need repairs. Within 90 minutes of dropping it off, they contacted me with a diagnosis and an estimate. By early afternoon, my car was ready. First-rate experience, start to finish. No one wants car problems, but if you have them, this is the place to go.