What is a parking brake cable replacement?

During a parking brake cable replacement service, the mechanic will check and replace the cable. The parking brake cable functions similarly to the brake pedal but uses a cable instead of brake fluid to apply pressure. Eventually, the cable can rust and break, which would make the car roll even if the parking brake is enabled. 
The emergency/parking brake cable is a thin cable under the car that connects the brake lever to the parking brake shoes. Pulling the brake lever enables the brake shoes to press against the brake drum or rotor. This creates friction that keeps the car from rolling. 

How to replace your parking brake cable

When the parking brake cable needs to be replaced, the brake drums or pads will also need to be inspected. The whole process typically includes: 
  • Removing the brake drums/pads to allow access to the emergency brake cable
  • Inspecting the brake cable for rust or other deformities 
  • Removing and replacing the brake cable
  • Adjusting the parking brake and testing the new cable 

When do I need to get my emergency brake cable replaced? 

The emergency brake cable, along with your entire brake system, should be inspected around once a year. It is recommended that you engage the parking brake every time the car is parked to keep the brake adjusted properly.
There are a few indicators that you might need to check your parking brake cable:
  • Your parking brake does not hold the car 
  • Your parking brake doesn’t release
  • Your parking brake warning light is on
Every aspect of your brake system is crucial for safe functioning and driving. Ignoring small repairs can lead to major safety issues or serious problems in the future. 

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