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Hate to burst everbodys bubble but they are not e-brakes. They are PARKING brakes. They were not designed to be e-brakes. Sorry guys. But you should still use them like when on a hill after you park.
 

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If you value your car or your life, you should have an e-brake. I have learned over time that safety is not a place to skimp.
 

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I guess the virus has folks digging deep to find stuff to read. This thread was started and hadn't been posted on in nearly 10 years!
 

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Just thought I'd add my perspective
I think parking brake is one of those, "but we have always done it that way" things
if you are in park or 1st gear, the parking brake is the weakest link in that system, almost completely useless in my opinion
potential problems with parking brake far outweigh its limited usefulness
 

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It should be set every time you park the car, but few people do. 'It' by the way, is referred to as a 'parking brake' or 'hand brake' in assembly manuals nearly universally, and there's a reason. If GM calls it an emergency brake, there's an implication in writing that it could or should be employed in an 'emergency', making people think it might be effective for that application. You'll rarely hear a factory engineer refer to it as an emergency brake.
 

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You have a point. It has always been kind done this way, to have a parking brake. Some are at the wheels, but trucks and, for a while, Mopars had them on a band at the back of the trans at the driveshaft. They are the weak link, right up until a shift select lever is improperly adjusted or worn, or a parking pawl breaks or strips on an old car; then they might become the only link. Sometimes safety is about redundancy, and parking brakes are exactly that.
 
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