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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 09-11-2009, 04:44 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - The Parking Brake

Thinking back over my years of doing mechanical inspections at the roadside, one of the most common deficiencies in older vehicles was a parking brake that was either seriously out of adjustment or didn't function at all. Also known as an emergency brake, this mechanical alternative to your hydraulic braking system really has two jobs: providing emergency braking in the event of brake failure and holding your vehicle stationary when it is parked. Will your parking brake be up to the job?

The hydraulic braking system of modern vehicles is highly reliable with proper maintenance. It is actually two separate braking circuits that provide redundant braking if one half of the system were to fail. The parking brake is much less capable, even when it is in proper working order. Let it fall into disrepair and you cannot expect it to be much help when you finally do call on it in a dire emergency.

Many drivers don't realize that the parking brake acts on the rear wheels only and this can result in exciting consequences. The end of your vehicle with the locked wheels is the end that wants to be first. Apply the parking brake immediately with full force and you could find yourself zooming along facing backwards! Always apply the parking brake carefully in an emergency stopping condition.

Scheduled for a driver's test? Remember your parking brake. If you don't apply it when you park and release it before you proceed, expect demerit marks on the test result. A defensive driver will always apply the parking brake, even when leaving the vehicle parked on level ground.

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Old 09-13-2009, 01:38 PM   #2
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Sadly there is a new trend of electric parking brakes emerging, some of which are operated from a button on the left side of the steering wheel.

While cars can't feasibly have redundant controls like an airplane, I do think that should an emergency occur with the driver, the passenger should be able to slow the vehicle using the parking (or in this case the emergencey) brake.

I was once riding with a friend who got out of his car without setting the parking brake. The driveway was on a slight incline and he hadn't put it in gear. Fortunately I was able to yank the brake handle before he was knocked over by his door as the car rolled backwards. Now if it was a push-button electric brake, I might not have been able to locate and hit the button in time. The only exception to that is if the electric brake set itself when the vehicle was shut off which then begs the question - why are we removing the control from the driver?

Automatic headlights, automatic wipers, automatic transmissions and automatic brakes all make the driver less aware of of what the car is doing and seperate the driver from the control of the vehicle. Imagine the consequenses of the owner/driver of a fully automated vehicle getting into a fully manual vehicle!
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:01 PM   #3
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Best way to park your car without putting stress on you tranny...

1) When Parked place car in Neutral
2) Apply parking brake, make sure the car is properly stopped by the e-brake.
3) Put car into park, so that the car doesnt put all its pressure/weight on the tranny.
4) Save yourself from a new tranny.

My brother has the 03-TL-S which is known to have the glass tranny.. He basically always parks the car the way i said. To this day he is still on the original tranny from factory where the same year and makes have had replacements.
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #4
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I always cringe when I see people putting the vehicle into park and letting the weight of the vehicle bounce against the parking pawl. I always let the parking brake take the weight of my car while in neutral before putting it into 1st or reverse.
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