Diagnosing A Failing Parking Brake By Certified BMW Technicians of Jeffersonville
Parking brakes come standard on all vehicles. As their name implies, they are designed to hold your car in place while parked on inclines. Most of the time, we take parking brakes for granted since they usually work, but what about those times they don’t?
Parking Brake Failure
While you may eventually find a time when your parking brake doesn’t work at the last minute, some cars like a BMW, with its superior technology, warns you with an indication on your dashboard if it senses a parking brake malfunction.
Let’s take a closer look at possible reasons that contribute to parking brake failure and what to do about it if it occurs to your BMW.
Poor Brake Shoes
One of the most reported issues with a parking brake has been that the brake shoes themselves are worn or out of adjustment and will not hold. Although brake shoes are auto-adjusting, a parking brake bypasses the brakes hydraulic system, which can hide pad issues while driving. Engaging the shoes with the parking brake may not hold if the shoes need to be adjusted or changed. Thankfully, scheduled maintenance for your BMW includes brake inspections to find this issue before it occurs.
Cleanliness of Parking Brake System
Another issue you may run into with your parking brake is that it may not hold if you don’t use it enough. Corrosion and rust can build up on the component within the parking brake system from lack of use. When this happens, you may pull the handle to engage your parking brake, but nothing happens because the debris is preventing the brake from engaging. This can also be true when natural elements such as mud and other debris coat your parking brake system.
Broken Brake Cable
Before the widespread use of electronic parking brake systems still in use on many vehicles, a cable system was used to engage the emergency brake. After years of use and deterioration, this cable will break, rendering the parking brake system useless.
Electronic Parking Brake Issues
As discussed, newer BMW’s have an electronic parking brake system instead of the manual pull-type system. Below are a few causes of an electronic parking brake failure.
A malfunctioning EMF module can cause an electronic parking failure, as it is the brains behind the system. Also, fuses can be a problem. We all have had a fuse or relay malfunction on cars we have owned. If a fuse or relay fails in your BMW’s parking brake system, you will not have a functioning parking brake. Be careful of grabbing a new fuse or relay from an auto parts house and replacing yourself. Neither fails without an underlying reason. Have your car checked by an authorized BMW technician to find out why the fuse or relay failed.
Low voltage electrical issues in your BMW’s electrical system can interfere with the electronic parking brake, as all electrical components work off a required voltage. Anything under the necessary voltage will not allow your system to work.
Some try to save money by completing do-it-yourself repairs. They watch an online video, get advice from a forum, and then go to work. If the instructions are correct, followed precisely, and with a little luck, the project may turn out alright. The problem is they don’t always consider the damage they may cause to other systems on the vehicle.
It is not hard to pinch a wire or hit a component with a wrench as you try and squeeze a new part onto your car while your parking brake system is damaged. With a highly engineered vehicle such as a BMW, let’s leave repairs to the experts.
We Are the Experts
At Mike Johns Imports, our crew of experts makes sure that every job gets done quickly and effectively. Serving Crestwood, Hurstbourne, Jeffersontown, Louisville, St. Matthews, and Jeffersonville, IN, our years of experience servicing and repairing BMW and Mini are unparalleled.
When it comes to your parking brake system, don’t let just anyone troubleshoot the problem. With our collective knowledge of your car’s systems, we can have your parking brake or any other needed repair completed and back to you quickly.
Call us today to make an appointment and learn why our customers return time after time for their vehicle’s needs.
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