How to Release Emergency Brake When Stuck

As a driver, you certainly have a risk because various things can happen on the road while you drive. One problem that often occurs is damage to vehicle components. Sometimes you can't avoid it but have to face it. Speaking of problems when driving, have you ever experienced an emergency brake that suddenly didn't work? If so, don't worry because you will know about how to release the emergency brake when stuck.

emergency-handbrake-car
A  driver pulls the handbrake.

What Is Parking Brake?

As you know, an emergency parking brake or handbrake is a crucial component of a vehicle that has a button at the top of the lever. The button functions to release the brake. Emergency brake stops the car when parking, or when the vehicle is uphill so as not to move backward, and you can also use it when the main brake fails to reduce the speed of the car.

How Does the Handbrake Work?

Operating an emergency parking brake is not tricky. You only need to press the lever button first then lower the handbrake lever. The mechanism of work is logically quite simple for those of you who are not automotive engineering.

In general, parking brakes use drum brakes to lock the rear wheel tires. There are two operating systems, namely:

1. Lever System
2. Button System (Lever)

Although the method of operation is different, the principle remains the same: by pulling the drum brake cable. The lever system is a simple swing, so when you pull the lever, it will engage the brake cable. But, the electric parking brake uses a motor to pull the brake cable.

What Happens When You Pull the Parking Brake Lever?

When you pull the brake lever, then the handle will pull the wire cable that has been mounted at the bottom of the brake lever. Then, you will hear a particular lock sound because the lock point interacts with the lock gear.

Emergency-handbrake-lever-pulled
Handbrake lever
The park brake lever component works like a swing that moves both brake pads from one direction. At the top end of the element, there is a shaft or hinge located on the leading shoe.
While under the shaft, there is an adjusting screw to adjust the height of the handbrake.

When pulling the lever up, the shaft will automatically become a hinge that makes the center of the handle push the adjusting screw. Furthermore, the trailing shoe will be under pressure, and when it touches the drum, the adjusting screw will function as a pedestal.

If you continue pulling the brake lever up, the swing effect will make the shaft on the leading shoe pushed towards the drum. The process makes the drum brakes are in a state of expansion, and the rear tire will be locked.

What Happens When You Release the Parking Brake Lever?


When you release the handbrake lever, the spring lever and drum brake system will push the brake lining back to shrink.

handbrake-emergency-brake-system
handbrake or emergency brake system
The process begins when pressing the lock nut, which functions to lock the hand brake. When that happens, the lock on the parking brake lever will be released, and the spring turning force will automatically restore the brake position not to press the drum.

Emergency Brake Components


The following are the components of a conventional drum brake system.

  • Brake lever

  • Locking Point

  • Lock Nut

  • Park brake strut and spring

  • Screw adjuster

  • Park brake lever

  • Cable wire

  • Brake shoe

Emergency Handbrake Not Functioning Normally? These are the Causes and Symptoms

Causes that often occur

When the handbrake doesn't work, what's the reason? One of the problems that commonly occur with handbrake is that you can't lower the brake lever after you pull it, it's stuck. The leading cause is the process of engaging the handbrake lever that is too strong and exceeds the maximum mechanism inside. To restore a stuck hand brake lever, usually, you will need extra power, and this can be an additional problem if the driver is a woman.

Another cause is dirt that is in the brake mechanism, which clogs the hand brake cable path. As a result, you will have difficulty when you want to lower the lever.

How to tell if the parking brake has a problem?

You can immediately find out signs of a broken handbrake. You don't even need to disassemble every part of the component to find out. You need to feel whether when you pull the handbrake handle, is it still comfortable or not, like the previous days? Usually, the factory default settings for the maximum point are five to seven clicks. If it turns out to be more than that, then you need to check the condition. Do not ignore this because it is vital for your safety when driving.

You can also find out the emergency brake condition when the car is on a hill. If you activate the brakes and your vehicle doesn't stop entirely or keeps moving backward, it means your emergency handbrake is having problems.

Troubleshooting When the Emergency Brake Handle Won't Go Down or Up, and The Indicator Light Keep On

The parking brake is stuck.

To restore a stuck parking brake lever, you can press the button while lifting the brake lever firmly. After that, immediately lower the brake pedal lever. Unfortunately, if that doesn't work, you need to disassemble the inside of the brake to restore its position. If you are not an expert, you should take your vehicle to an advanced repair shop to fix emergency brake so that the damage does not get worse.

Damage to the hand brake associated with components such as brake linings, discs, and cables or brake hoses, and this is a reasonably complicated mechanism. You need someone who understands the arrangement of the car braking system. When repairs have been completed, resetting the brakes is necessary so that conditions return to normal.

Why does the indicator light always turn on when you don't use handbrake?

When you pull the handbrake, the indicator light will turn on, and this light will turn off when you do not activate the handbrake. But, do not underestimate if the indicator lights keep on even though you do not operate the handbrake. That is a hint that you should immediately inspect the brake fluid. The amount of fluid in the system is likely below the minimum mark due to leakage or worn brake canvas.

You need to pay attention to the quantity of fluid in the particular reservoir tank located in the master cylinder. You require to add it immediately if the surface of the brake fluid is far below the minimum mark. Next, you should check to determine the possibility of leaks in the brake system. If you ignore it, the air trapped in the brake system will inhibit the flow of compressive force from the brake pedal to the wheels.

Well, that's how to release the emergency brake when stuck. Routine vehicle maintenance is an essential activity for satisfying performance.