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Old 01-01-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
OwenOwl
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Duh. Accidentally drove with handbrake on.

Hi, I drive a Ford Focus 1.6 Titanium, 61 reg.

I made a very stupid mistake today. I'm normally a good driver but I guess I was a little tired or not really 'with it' because I did something very dumb.

Accidentally drove about 8 miles with handbrake partially engaged. Kind of noticed a slight drag but thought nothing of it. Can't have been fully engaged. Didn't notice warning light on either, though when I parked I realised the handbrake was already half-way up, and noticed a strong burning smell around the rear tyres when I got out. No smoke however so nothing was 'on fire'. Two hours later the drive home felt fine, though I'm worried I may have damaged the brakes and/or transmission due to excessive wear and making the engine work harder. I could swear the brake pedal feels a tad less sensitive, though I can't be sure if I'm just being over paranoid or if there's any real difference.

Yes, yes, it's a stupid mistake, the sort of thing women drivers do, but I'm not a woman, so yeah whatever, I'm human and did something dumb.

But the point is, do you think I need to worry and/or get it checked out? I have a young toddler as a regular passenger so feel quite paranoid about it.

Thanks!
O.


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Old 01-01-2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OwenOwl View Post
Hi, I drive a Ford Focus 1.6 Titanium, 61 reg.

I made a very stupid mistake today. I'm normally a good driver but I guess I was a little tired or not really 'with it' because I did something very dumb.

Accidentally drove about 8 miles with handbrake partially engaged. Kind of noticed a slight drag but thought nothing of it. Can't have been fully engaged. Didn't notice warning light on either, though when I parked I realised the handbrake was already half-way up, and noticed a strong burning smell around the rear tyres when I got out. No smoke however so nothing was 'on fire'. Two hours later the drive home felt fine, though I'm worried I may have damaged the brakes and/or transmission due to excessive wear and making the engine work harder. I could swear the brake pedal feels a tad less sensitive, though I can't be sure if I'm just being over paranoid or if there's any real difference.

Yes, yes, it's a stupid mistake, the sort of thing women drivers do, but I'm not a woman, so yeah whatever, I'm human and did something dumb.

But the point is, do you think I need to worry and/or get it checked out? I have a young toddler as a regular passenger so feel quite paranoid about it.

Thanks!
O.
I'm not sure off hand if the car uses a drum in hat system or if its just squeezing the rear calipers with the E-brake/ hand brake applied, but if its the former it shouldn't affect the longevity of the service brakes, but will still need to be repaired as if the friction material is worn down the brake won't hold the car on a hill eventually. If its using the service brakes then that's also a bigger safety risk.

Do you have disks in the rear, or just drums? If you only have drums then forget the mention of the drum in hat system, that is generally only used on vehicles with rear disk brakes.

I'd have it checked by a garage to see if there was any excessive permanent damage, and possibly have the shoes for the drum in hat, or the pads for the rear disks, or if its a rear drum set up the shoes for that as well.

This may have worn out the shoes excessively.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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The car would have disc brakes, and the e-brake uses the rear disk brakes and is engaged mechanically.
If the rotors are still normal color they are not damaged. The pads are fine. the op may have ust got them a little hot.
No problem.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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The car would have disc brakes, and the e-brake uses the rear disk brakes and is engaged mechanically.
If the rotors are still normal color they are not damaged. The pads are fine. the op may have ust got them a little hot.
No problem.
There are two different e-brake systems applied to vehicles with rear disk brakes, one that uses the rear brakes themselves, and the other that uses a small drum brake assembly inside the rotor hat to hold the car in place.

Driving for 8 miles with the brakes jammed on is a good way to glaze the pads or destroy the shoes of a parking brake assembly given that they were only ever meant to hold the weight of the car normally, and in case of emergency aid in slowing the car down.

Causing undue wear and tear is not the worst thing you could do but its also not no problem either. Components are now worn more than they would normally be at this stage. Is it a fatal issue, probably not, but it does need to be serviced.

I would agree that inching a little bit with the hand brake applied is probably ok once in a while, but if you have driven any distance with the rear brakes locked up or even lightly applied creating extra drag can cause both the brakes as well as the tires to take extra abuse in a shorter amount of time.

I've also seen pictures from European auctions of Titaniums having rear drum brakes behind the 5 spoke alloy wheels, so I wouldn't rule that out either, since they get a completely different set of options there, the 1.6L engine being among them.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #5
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Nahhh, I wouldn't worry to much. Go easy on yourself, grab yerself a Guiness and kick back. The shoes/pads whatever they are could have been glazed over a little bit. You can scuff them up with sandpaper to restore the brakeing surfaces if necessary.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
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have your rotors checked out i'd say. if all checks out then you'll at least have that peace of mind, kno?
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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im sure its fine. probably boiled the fluid, but once it cooled off it would return to normal operation
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