Fix It with Farrell: The Emergency Brake
Farrell is one of our Fleet Technicians and works with our vehicles every day to ensure they’re in tip-top shape for our members. Check our blog and newsletter for his stories from the road, and some helpful insider tips!
When to use the Emergency Brake?
The emergency brake is a separate mechanical system to stop the car from moving, and works even if the engine is not operational. A red indicator on the instrument cluster (or dashboard, if you prefer) illuminates when the emergency brake is engaged in all vehicles. You should never drive with this indicator illuminated. Only use this brake when the vehicle is parked – especially on a steep incline or in a case of an emergency when the regular foot brakes are not operational.
Where is the emergency brake?
In most vehicles, it is an arm that must be raised which is located between the driver and passenger seats. Normal engagement is by lifting the lever through between 3 and 5 clicks from the disengaged (or lowered) position.
In other vehicles, the emergency brake is a third foot pedal near the drivers side door. Push it down (in) to engage the brake. Release the emergency foot brake by either pressing the pedal a second time or by pulling a paddle-style lever under the dashboard close to the pedal.
A few exceptions are:
Nissan Leaf (below): Lightly lift the small lever with a red indicator between the front seats, depress the lever to release the brake.
Dodge ProMaster Panel Vans: The arm style lever is located between the drivers seat and the drivers door in this car.