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Old 10-08-2015, 06:23 AM   #1
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Parking brake issue

The folding brake has started to give me some serious anxiety. Has begun refusing to release for my 2013 AI.
I remember a previous thread on this topic, but could not locate it.
I have been avoiding using the brake if at all possible. Any suggestions I can employ before I make it home and to my Sprinter service center?
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:10 AM   #2
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The parking brake on mine is a little bit finicky, but it works. As you know from your own experience, I pull up to put on the parking brake, then can push it back down with the parking brake engaged to get the lever out of the way of swiveling the seat. But when I pull the lever back up to release it, I sometimes have to pull HARD to pull it up past where it was when I first set the brake, before I can press the button on the end to release the brake.

So if I pull the lever up too far when first setting the brake, it can be very tough to pull it up past that point to release it. You only have to pull the lever up until the parking brake indicator lamp comes on in the dashboard to set the brake, not pull until the lever can't move any more.

Also— and this is a problem for any vehicle with drum brakes on the rear— if you apply the parking brake while the drum is hot, the parking brake can jam after the brake drum cools and shrinks. It's always best to wait a minute or two after braking to a stop before applying the parking brake, so that the drum has already cooled first. This isn't a problem with rear disc brakes because the brake pads push in to brake instead of pushing out to brake as do the brake pads on a drum brake.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:53 AM   #3
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Yep Protagonist......I sometimes pull it up too far when parking at the top of my driveway ( a steep incline). That was where it first balked at releasing. I couldn't get it past the set point. It happened just as we were leaving for a LONG trip north. Since then, I have taken care to use a minimum pull-up, but it still sometimes laughs at me when I try to release it. Just cross my fingers each time I need to set the brake.


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Old 10-08-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
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While I don't know if the Sprinter's parking brake uses the pads on the rotor or a small drum brake inside the rotor hat, either way the amount of holding power increases w/ the amount of pressure applied to the parking brake lever.

Don't know how much pressure is applied when the PB lite comes on but if you are on an incline, I would check the holding power by releasing the brake pedal before putting the tranny in Park. That way you're sure and there will be no pressure against the pawl in the tranny when it's in Park which makes it easier to get it out of Park. And it reduces the chances of over-applying the parking brake.
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Old 10-08-2015, 04:35 PM   #5
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Thanks 'shark....that's how I always have applied a parking brake. Got a lot of lectures from my mechanic father about it many years ago. 😊. That, and many other good tips.


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