It is very important to know how to check the effectiveness of the parking brakes because they can help save lives by preventing a parked vehicle from rolling down a slope or hill or maybe even bring the vehicle to a pause in case the foot brakes stop operating in traffic. So this article will tell you how to check the effectiveness of parking brakes.
Before that, you need to know the difference between parking brakes and foot brakes and also why they are important as well.
- On the firsthand, the foot brake is said to be the main braking system of the vehicle. It has control over the brakes on all four wheels. It is a hydraulically operated system. Nowadays on the new cars, it has a computer-controlled anti lock brake system or ABS. This system is capable of adjusting brake pressure to each wheel. It is done by measuring the wheel speed, and for example, if one wheel is going slower than the others due to impending brake lockup, it will regulate the pressure to that wheel to allow it to turn again, preventing a possible skid and also the subsequent loss of friction.
- On the other hand, parking brakes or also knows as the emergency brakes are a separate system. It is meant to be used if the main brake system (foot brakes) fails. It can also be used for parking. It is a cable operated drum brake system, with the rear drums cleverly positioned inside the hubs of the rear brake rotors. This is a weaker system by design because it is usually used for parking and will only operate on the rear wheels.
How to Check the Effectiveness of the Parking Brakes
Here are the simplest instructions in three steps-
- Drive your transport to the top of a small cliff or hill. It needs to be sloppy enough for your car to roll down freely when you take your foot off the brake.
- Roll the vehicle down the highland. The vehicle should be in neutral and if it does not immediately roll, put it into gear to give it the momentum it needs to go down.
- Now, pull the parking brake. Once the transport is rolling down freely, activate the parking brake. Your vehicle will halt suddenly, so be prepared for it. If the parking brake does not bring the car to an immediate pause, you have to step on the foot brake.
- You may repeat the same steps in the opposite direction as well. It will help test the parking brake thoroughly.
- You can also spend a few minutes going through the same steps but with your car parked upwards on the slope. The parking brake is supposed to work the same. If it does not stop the car entirely, a more in-depth look at the vehicle’s brake system is suggested.
Some tips to keep in mind –
- If you don’t find any hill in your area, use a sloppy area where the angle is adequate to check the parking brake.
Visit your local mechanic even after checking the parking brake yourself. keep in mind about getting a professional car mechanic to conduct a more detailed safety check of your vehicle, whether or not you detect any malfunctions while checking the brakes.