The parking brake: operation, types, advantages and proper use

The parking brake: operation, types, advantages and proper use

Introduction

Welcome to our article on the parking brake, a fundamental element in any vehicle. In this article, we'll explore how it works, the different types of parking brakes, their advantages, and how to use them correctly. We will also compare the electric parking brake with the lever one and highlight its importance and proper use. Let's get started!

What is the parking brake?

The parking brake, also known as the handbrake, is a system used to keep a vehicle immobilized when parked. Unlike the service brake, which is used to stop the vehicle while it is moving, the parking brake is used when the vehicle is stationary.



Parking brake operation

The parking brake works by applying mechanical or electrical force to lock the rear wheels of the vehicle. This prevents the vehicle from moving while parked, even on steep inclines.

Parking Brake Types

There are different types of parking brake, each with its own characteristics and advantages. The two most common types are:

lever handbrake

The lever parking brake is the most traditional type and is found on most vehicles. It is activated by pulling a lever located between the front seats. Pulling the lever applies pressure to the cables that are connected to the rear wheels, thus blocking their movement.

electric parking brake

The electric parking brake is a more modern version found on many newer vehicles. Instead of using cables, this system uses electric motors to apply pressure to the rear wheels. It is activated by a button or switch located on the center console or on the instrument panel.



Advantages of the parking brake

The parking brake offers several important advantages:

  • Increased safety: By keeping the vehicle immobilized, the parking brake prevents it from rolling away accidentally, which can be especially helpful on steep inclines.
  • Less Wear on Service Brakes: Using the parking brake when parking reduces the load on the service brakes, which can increase service brake life.
  • Ease of Use: Both the lever parking brake and the electric parking brake are easy to engage and disengage, making them convenient for drivers.

How to correctly use the parking brake?

Using the parking brake correctly is essential to ensure safety and prevent damage to the vehicle. Follow these steps to use it correctly:

  1. Make sure the vehicle is at a complete stop before engaging the parking brake.
  2. If you have a lever parking brake, pull the lever up firmly until you feel resistance. If you have an electric parking brake, activate the corresponding button or switch.
  3. Once you have applied the parking brake, make sure it is properly locked before leaving the vehicle.
  4. To disengage the parking brake, simply release the lever or deactivate the corresponding button or switch.

Comparison between electric and lever parking brake

Both the electric parking brake and the lever parking brake serve the same basic function of keeping the vehicle immobilized while parked. However, there are some important differences between them:


  • Activation: The lever parking brake is activated by pulling a lever, while the electric parking brake is activated by a button or switch.
  • Comfort: Some drivers find the electric parking brake more comfortable to use, as it does not require as much force as the lever parking brake.
  • Automation: The electric parking brake can be linked to other vehicle systems, such as the automatic hill braking system, providing greater comfort and safety.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use the parking brake while the vehicle is moving?

No, the parking brake must not be used while the vehicle is moving. Its main function is to keep the vehicle immobilized when it is parked. Using the parking brake while the vehicle is moving can damage the system and compromise safety.



What should I do if the parking brake does not release?

If the parking brake does not release after disengaging, there may be a problem with the system. In this case, it is advisable to take the vehicle to a mechanical workshop to have it checked and repaired if necessary. Do not try to force the parking brake, as this can cause additional damage.

Conclusion

In summary, the parking brake is a fundamental element in any vehicle. Its correct use and understanding are essential to ensure safety and prevent damage to the vehicle. Both the lever parking brake and the electric parking brake serve the same basic function, but each have their own features and benefits. Always remember to use the parking brake when parking and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper use. With a parking brake in good condition and correct use, you will be able to park your vehicle with complete peace of mind!


Until next time,

The Pistonudos.com team

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