parking brake

Why Your Parking Brake Won’t Release

If your parking brake won’t release, it’s important to find out why it’s happening. There are several different ways to release it for the time being. But you should find the root cause of the issue and fix it ASAP.

In this post, we’ll go over the most common causes of a stuck parking brake.

1. Worn Brake Shoe

Parking brake shoe
Image Credit: FCP

On some vehicles, the parking brake is a separate brake shoe that’s only used for this purpose. So if your drum brakes seem fine but your parking brake won’t disengage, you may need to replace the parking brake shoe.

The best way to confirm this is to check your parking brake shoe. If you find that it’s worn and needs replacing, you can grab a replacement here. We carry quality replacement parking brake parts. That includes Raybestos parking brake shoes and cables.

2. Cable Issues

The parking brake cable may be stretched out, corroded, or damaged in another way. A damaged cable may prevent the brake from releasing.

If you suspect that the cable is causing your parking brake to stick, you can visually inspect it. If you find any noticeable signs of damage, replace it ASAP.

3. Worn Out Cable Springs

Parking brake cable spring
Image Credit: F150Forum

The cable springs may be stretched out. Their job is to retract the parking brake. If they have gotten weak or have broken, this will prevent the brake from releasing. In this case, you’ll need to replace them.

4. Cold Weather

If the weather is cold and icy enough, the parking brake may freeze in place. If you suspect that this is the issue, there are several things you can try:

  • Start the engine and let it idle without moving the car. Heat will build up under the car, and this may melt the ice around the parking brake.
  • Try to melt the ice around the parking brake with a hairdryer.

5. Electrical Issues

Brake warning light

A number of electrical issues can cause your parking brake to stick or fail to release. These include:

  • Issues with the battery, alternator, or starter
  • Stuck solenoids
  • Stuck switches

If you suspect that this is the case, we recommend having an experienced professional take a look at it for you. They’ll be able to diagnose and fix the problem.