What do you do if the parking brake fails? - Alfa Romeo 4C Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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What do you do if the parking brake fails?

Maybe a stupid question but ..... since this car doesn't have a gear for PARK .... what do you do if and when the parking brake fails? Does it eventually become less effective over time? Does it need to be checked or adjusted periodically? Not sure if anyone here has a car old enough where this became an issue. Currently I park my car in Neutral and use the hand brake. Can it be parked in gear, or does it automatically go to neutral when shut off?


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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:17 PM
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The cable will stretch over time. Some here have reported it already not holding. The pads will also wear eventually. Things may also corrode / seize.
The car can be parked in gear IF you put it in gear, turn the engine off THEN open the door. Opening the door with the ignition in any position other than OFF will cause the car to automatically shift back to Neutral.
(somebody please corroborate that, as I'm going by memory from someone else's post that I don't have time to look for. I know it is something like that as I always park in gear but kind of do it automatically).

Park the car in the opposite gear to the direction it is likely to roll - Reverse if parking nose downhill, 1st if parking nose uphill.
Turn the wheels into the curb if you are parallel parking. The usual thing you learned when you got your license.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 12:31 PM
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Anyway to adjust and tighten the parking brake cable?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:30 PM
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@4Canada Joe from Centerline Alfa yelled at me for suggesting what you have said. I thought it to be true as well, but he said park the car in the gear of the direction it would roll to minimize engine damage. This was the thread:

PSA: Check your emergency brake

To the OP though - what has been said is correct, basically you treat it like a manual transmission car.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heelntoe View Post
@4Canada Joe from Centerline Alfa yelled at me for suggesting what you have said. I thought it to be true as well, but he said park the car in the gear of the direction it would roll to minimize engine damage. This was the thread:

PSA: Check your emergency brake

To the OP though - what has been said is correct, basically you treat it like a manual transmission car.
Apologies to Joe, for whom I have the greatest respect, but I'd counter that if it is going to roll it will do so easier in the gear in the same direction. I don't want it to roll easier than it has to. And I don't care about engine damage if my car is going to be written off because it wandered into the path of traffic. Nor do I want the weight of someone perhaps being killed by being hit by my roll-away car, or hitting it in theirs.

The operators manual for the TCT in my car says:
In order to park safely: press the brake pedal, engage the gear (1st uphill or reverse
downhill), and engage the handbrake.

Clearly, the former is to protect the car if the latter fails.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Canada View Post
The cable will stretch over time. Some here have reported it already not holding. The pads will also wear eventually. Things may also corrode / seize.
The car can be parked in gear IF you put it in gear, turn the engine off THEN open the door. Opening the door with the ignition in any position other than OFF will cause the car to automatically shift back to Neutral.
(somebody please corroborate that, as I'm going by memory from someone else's post that I don't have time to look for. I know it is something like that as I always park in gear but kind of do it automatically).

Park the car in the opposite gear to the direction it is likely to roll - Reverse if parking nose downhill, 1st if parking nose uphill.
Turn the wheels into the curb if you are parallel parking. The usual thing you learned when you got your license.
Thanks! While I will always look to use the parking break, I need to be prepared in case it fails.
So .... leave in gear ... shut off car, turn key all the way left to OFF position, then open door to get out? Got it
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Canada View Post
Apologies to Joe, for whom I have the greatest respect, but I'd counter that if it is going to roll it will do so easier in the gear in the same direction. I don't want it to roll easier than it has to. And I don't care about engine damage if my car is going to be written off because it wandered into the path of traffic. Nor do I want the weight of someone perhaps being killed by being hit by my roll-away car, or hitting it in theirs.

The operators manual for the TCT in my car says:
In order to park safely: press the brake pedal, engage the gear (1st uphill or reverse
downhill), and engage the handbrake.

Clearly, the former is to protect the car if the latter fails.

I agree as well - the intent is to protect other people, not your car, as much as we would all prefer to protect our cars
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Very helpful thread. A must read for all 4C owners, being that many may need to use this a few years down the road. I haven't read anything on here about the hand brake failing, but I think it's because all of our cars a pretty new.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by massimo4c View Post
Very helpful thread. A must read for all 4C owners, being that many may need to use this a few years down the road. I haven't read anything on here about the hand brake failing, but I think it's because all of our cars a pretty new.
The thread that heelntoe posted a link to, above, is the one where someone reported their hand brake not holding the car.
If you don't depress the foot brake first, or if you don't pull the handle up high enough, it will have the same effect as an ill-adjusted cable.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 05:03 PM
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I think it takes about the same torque to turn the engine in either direction (at least, that's what it seems from the couple I put together).

When I go to the track, I take a couple of short lengths (~6-12 inches long) of 2x4 to use as chocks. Never set the parking brake after coming off track.
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