We had a client come in with a parking brake that was staying stuck on. This obviously was causing all sorts of issues:
- It was dangerous as the parking brake was applied at all times – even while driving around, changing the driving dynamics of the vehicle.
- It was causing aggressive wear and tear on the parking brake shoes and rear brake disc. This customer drove far enough that the rear brake shoes had actually melted and needed to be completely replaced.
- It was causing the parking brake active warning light to stay illuminated while driving – bringing undue stress on the driver. (We all hate ignoring those dash lights!) If you see this we highly suggest towing the car to avoid further damage to the parking brake system.
Upon inspection we discovered that the original gears in the actuator are plastic. Over time the plastic becomes brittle and cracks causing the unit to fail. As a result the actuator was unable to turn the gear and release the parking brake.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the modernization of systems that may not need updating. Like the electronic parking brake with motors and gears vs. a standard lever actuated parking brake. Also, what (if any) “better than OEM” replacements have you found?