Pro Tip: The Emergency Brake
When to use the Emergency Brake?
The emergency brake is a separate mechanical system to stop the car from moving, and works even if the engine is not operational. A red indicator on the instrument cluster (or dashboard, if you prefer) illuminates when the emergency brake is engaged in all vehicles. You should never drive with this indicator illuminated. Only use this brake when the vehicle is parked – especially on a steep incline or in a case of an emergency when the regular foot brakes are not operational.
Where is the emergency brake?
In most vehicles, it is an arm that must be raised which is located between the driver and passenger seats. Normal engagement is by lifting the lever through between 3 and 5 clicks from the disengaged (or lowered) position.
In other vehicles, the emergency brake is a third foot pedal near the drivers side door. Push it down (in) to engage the brake. Release the emergency foot brake by either pressing the pedal a second time or by pulling a paddle-style lever under the dashboard close to the pedal.
How do I release the emergency brake?
Most of our vehicles have emergency brakes like the one in the photo above. To release the emergency brake, press the button on the end of the brake handle and lower the lever. If you have trouble releasing the brake sometimes two hands may be required. Avoid cranking the brake too hard when parking in order make it easier for the next member.
A few vehicles with different emergency brake locations
Nissan Leaf (below): Lightly lift the small lever with a red indicator between the front seats, depress the lever to release the brake.
Dodge ProMaster Panel Vans: The arm style lever is located between the drivers seat and the drivers door in this car.