Would Driving with the Parking Brake Engaged Cause Damage? - Chevy Cobalt Forum / Cobalt Reviews / Cobalt SS / Cobalt Parts
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2016, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Would Driving with the Parking Brake Engaged Cause Damage?

I have an 05 Cobalt w/ auto trans. Today I was parked on an incline at a campground with the front of the car facing downwards (towards a lake). So naturally when I parked I engaged the parking brake to make sure it doesn't roll.

But for some reason when I was leaving, my dumb self put it into reverse and backed up the incline into the road with the parking brake engaged and drove about 5 mph for maybe 500-1000 feet. I then realized the traction control disabled ("TC" crossed out) icon was showing on my dashboard and "BRAKE" in red letters, which obviously meant parking brake was still engaged, so I put the car into park and disengaged the parking brake and then put it back into drive and continued driving.

I have a couple questions-

1) Would this cause any damage to the rear brakes or any other components?

2) Is the car supposed to be able to move with the parking brake engaged, or does this indicate my parking brake isn't working properly? I was surprised it even let me back up the hill like that with it engaged.

Hoping I did not mess up anything on my car haha.

-Nathan

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2016, 01:10 AM
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If you didn't smell the brake shoes burn or see any smoke you're good. And parking brakes don't hold as good in reverse as they do going forward.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2016, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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If you didn't smell the brake shoes burn or see any smoke you're good. And parking brakes don't hold as good in reverse as they do going forward.
Whew glad to hear that. I didn't see or smell any smoke so it should be good. Thanks!

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 07:32 AM
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Worst case scenario, you might have worn down your brake shoes a bit. I'm sure you didn't do any damage.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2016, 02:14 PM
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Actually you may have done them good by running them backwards a ways. This tends to clean the shoe surface of debris and glaze and it also tightens the adjuster if so needed.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 04:29 AM
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also remember to cut your wheels towards the curb when on an incline, in case of your cars brakes giving out the car wont have enough momentum to get over the curb and it will keep your vehicle from becoming a rolling death sled.

---------- Post added at 07:29 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:29 AM ----------

this has been a PSA

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-06-2016, 07:41 AM
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Actually, the thought just crossed my mind that if you had a manual, a common hill start method is to use the hand brake, which over time would wear down the brakes way more than driving with it on for a minute or two one time.
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