DeAnn Owens
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Best Times to Use the Emergency Brake

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emergency brake handle pull braking usage
Photo: The News Wheel

The emergency brake on your car is a useful component that can help protect your vehicle’s transmission, provide emergency assistance, and keep your vehicle in place when parked. But, knowing when to use it can be tricky. Here are a few situations when pulling the emergency brake makes sense.

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When parking your car (everywhere)

You’ve probably engaged the emergency or parking brake when you’re parking your car on a hill. But, that’s not the only time it can assist you when parking. Level ground is also an optimal location for using the emergency brake, especially when your car has a manual transmission.

“It reduces pressure on the clutch, transmission, parking pawl, and CV joints — and reduced pressure means reduced wear,” according to NAPA Online writer Benjamin Jerew.

Engaging the emergency brake in your everyday parking can also benefit your car’s automatic transmission.

When something goes wrong with your brakes

If your brakes fail, the emergency brake will be your best friend. Although the emergency brake may not immediately bring your vehicle to a stop, it will help you regain control, notes Jerew.

“If you can’t stop your car, slowly pull up on the emergency brake handle or press the pedal down to come to a complete stop,” advises

When changing out a flat tire

Changing a flat tire can be a challenging, dangerous chore, especially if you’re doing the procedure on the side of a busy road. It is so important to get to a safe place, turn on your hazards, and in addition to setting up cones or flares to signal to other drivers and placing wheel wedges appropriately, apply the parking or emergency brake when tending to your flat tire.

“Once stopped, always use the parking brake when preparing to replace a flat tire. This will minimize the possibility of your vehicle rolling,” according to Bridgestone

Using the emergency brake in these situations can help protect your vehicle’s components and safeguard your journey.