Posted under Car Brakes

New and experienced drivers alike are often confused about when and how to use the emergency brake. No wonder, because the name is misleading! This feature is not really designed or intended to be used in emergencies at all. It’s designed to hold your car securely in place any time you put it in park and leave it in one spot for a long time. 

THAT’S WHY THE EMERGENCY PARKING BRAKE SHOULD BE REFERRED TO AS THE PARKING BRAKE


It’s not just for extreme circumstances, like parking on an incline or a slippery driveway. Even if you’re leaving your car in a flat parking lot on a dry, sunny day, you should engage your parking brake. It gives your car extra stability and will help keep it from rolling if something unexpected happens. When the parking brake is engaged, friction components of your car’s service brake system will help keep your tires from spinning.

OK, now that you know what your parking brake is, you may well be asking …

WHERE IS IT?


It’s typically either a handle, pedal or button labeled “Parking Brake.” If you’re unsure, refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for the exact placement. No owner’s manual? No problem! A trained Jiffy Lube® technician will be happy to show you where to find and how to use the parking brake.

HOW TO USE THE PARKING BRAKE


Use these four steps while the engine is still running:

  1. Press down completely on the brake pedal
  2. Pull the lever, step on the pedal, or press the parking brake button (consult your owner’s manual for the specifics for your car)
  3. Shift your automatic transmission into “Park” or put your manual transmission in gear
  4. Release the brake pedal

BE SURE TO FULLY RELEASE YOUR PARKING BRAKE BEFORE YOU START UP AGAIN 


Driving with your parking brake on can lead to:

  • Brakes overheating
  • Loss of fuel economy
  • Brake damage

IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN USING YOUR PARKING BRAKE CORRECTLY, YOUR BRAKES OR TRANSMISSION MAY HAVE SUSTAINED ADDITIONAL WEAR 


If you notice that your car rolls forward or backward more than a few inches when you put it in park, there’s a chance that your parking pawl or transmission gear are worn down. Additionally, here are a few other signs that your brakes may need attention:

REMEMBER, YOUR BRAKES ARE YOUR CAR’S MOST IMPORTANT SAFETY FEATURE


To protect yourself, your passengers, and everyone you meet on the road, pull into one of the more than 2,000 Jiffy Lube® locations at the first sign of brake trouble.

Trained technicians will begin by asking you questions about your driving style, because that will help them better diagnose the brake problem. Then you can expect:

  • The technician will perform a visual inspection of your vehicle’s brakes (wheels on) 
  • Your vehicle’s brake fluid will be tested for moisture content and/or additive package strength (through copper content testing)
  • A more thorough brake inspection is conducted if a tire rotation is performed
  • Brake service recommendations are presented to you based on this visual inspection
  • In some cases, a more complete inspection may be recommended
  • As needed, your brake system will be serviced by the trained technicians (no work will be done without your consent, and any service recommendation will be based on your vehicle manufacturer’s specifications)
  • Your vehicle will be test driven before and after the brake service

When you drive away from Jiffy Lube, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re taking good care of your car.

A smiling JiffyLube technician checks a customer's break pads

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Now that you know more about how to use the parking brake, check out all the Jiffy Lube brake inspection and replacement services.

Please come back to our Tips in a Jiffy blog often. New pro tips are added regularly.

Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.