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Old 03-15-2012, 11:27 PM
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driving with parking brake?

I let a friend get in the driver's seat to drive the car, and they didn't disengage the parking brake and just started accelerating. They only made it a few feet from the driveway before I caught the mistake. I realize a few feet with the parking brake on is no big deal, but more out of curiosity how bad is it if the parking brake is firmly engaged and someone drives for a bit. Say 1 mile, or 5 miles, before noticing?
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:39 PM
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It depends on the design of the vehicle. On some vehicles the parking brake uses the same pads as the service brakes, so it is more serious, due to overheating affecting the main brakes. On current BMW models the parking brake uses separate brake shoes inside a small drum in the rear rotors, mechanically applied. On these models there is less chance of damage. After some distance, more than a few feet, the shoes get glazed. They can sometimes be deglazed and reused, depending on how hot they got. The drums should also be inspected for heat damage in that case
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:40 PM
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I should be fine in my case though, right? It was just a few feet before I caught the light
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:44 PM
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Fine. If the parking brake still holds OK then it is unlikely there was any impact
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Old 03-16-2012, 02:31 PM
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You're fine. My parents do this with some unfortunate frequency on every car because I'm the only one in the family that engages the handbrake every time I park the vehicle. The warning chime comes on and alerts them.
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