The parking brake: everything you need to know

The parking brake: everything you need to know


Welcome to our article on the parking brake, an essential braking system in any vehicle. In this article, we will answer all your questions about the parking brake, from its basic operation to driving tips related to this braking system.

What is the handbrake?

The parking brake, also known as the parking brake or emergency brake, is a mechanism used to hold the vehicle immobilized when parked or stopped. Unlike the main brake, which is operated by the foot pedal, the parking brake is manually activated by a lever or button.

How does the parking brake work?

The parking brake works through a system of cables or rods that are connected to the rear wheels of the vehicle. When the parking brake is activated, these cables or rods are put under tension, which causes the friction of the brake pads against the discs or drums of the rear wheels. This friction prevents the wheels from turning freely, keeping the vehicle immobilized.

When and how to use the parking brake correctly?

The parking brake should be used in different situations, such as parking on a hill, stopping at a long stop light or making an emergency stop. To use the parking brake correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
  2. Press the brake pedal firmly.
  3. Activate the parking brake by pulling the lever or pressing the corresponding button.
  4. Release the brake pedal slowly.

handbrake types

There are different types of parking brake, the most common being the mechanical parking brake and the electric parking brake. The mechanical parking brake uses cables to transmit braking force, while the electric parking brake uses an electric motor to activate the brake pads. Both types fulfill the same function, but their activation mechanism is different.

Operation and benefits of the parking brake

The parking brake is an additional braking system that provides several advantages. Some of the advantages of the handbrake are:

  • Prevents the vehicle from rolling when parked on a slope.
  • Provides greater security in the event of failure of the main brake.
  • Allows for more precise parking maneuvers.
  • Helps extend the life of the main brake by sharing the braking load.

Frequent questions

1. What is the difference between hand brake and foot brake?

The handbrake and the footbrake are two different braking systems. The parking brake is used to keep the vehicle immobilized when parked or stopped, while the foot brake is used to stop the vehicle while driving. Both systems are complementary and it is important to use them correctly to ensure driving safety.

2. Can I damage the vehicle if I use the parking brake incorrectly?

If used incorrectly, the parking brake can damage the vehicle's braking system. For example, if it is suddenly activated while the vehicle is moving, it can cause the rear wheels to lock up suddenly and cause a skid. Also, if it is left on for a long time, it can lead to premature wear of the brake pads. Therefore, it is important to use the parking brake properly and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.


In summary, the parking brake is an essential braking system in any vehicle. It allows us to keep the vehicle immobilized when it is parked or stopped, providing security and avoiding unwanted movements. It is important to use the parking brake correctly and follow the manufacturer's recommendations to ensure proper operation and prolong its useful life.

We hope this article has resolved all your doubts about the parking brake. If you have any additional questions or want to share your experience, feel free to leave a comment below. We will be happy to help you!

Until next time!

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