If your car has a parking brake or emergency brake not working, meaning it is not holding or engaging or it has failed inspection, there are a few fixes you can do and parts you can inspect to get it working again. These steps from our mechanics will show you how to diagnose and fix an emergency brake not working or holding yourself.
How to Inspect and Fix a Failed Parking Brake
Symptoms of a Parking Brake Not Working
- Parking brake does not hold/stop the vehicle, causing it to roll
- Failed inspection for a parking brake
How to Fix a Parking Brake Not Working
1. Adjust the Parking Brake Lever
If the parking brake lever is not working, you might be able to fix it by adjusting the lever with these steps.
Steps for Adjusting a Parking Brake Lever Not Working
- Pry Up the Parking Brake Bezel
Detach the parking brake lever bezel with a trim tool
- Remove the Boot
Remove the protective boot from the parking brake lever to access the adjustable bolt
- Tighten the Adjustor Bolt
Tighten the adjustor bolt with a deep socket, socket extension, and ratchet
- Test the Handle’s Resistance
Pull the handle to test its resistance and adjust the bolt accordingly
2. Inspect and Fix the E-Brake Cable
If the emergency brake is not working after adjusting the lever, inspect the e-brake cables from underneath the vehicle.
- Follow the emergency brake cables underneath the vehicle and inspect them for tearing and/or corrosion
- Confirm the e-brake cable is connected to the brake drum