Parking Brake Unavailable

Parking Brake Unavailable: Emergency Brake Not working

In today’s cars, there are lots of safety gadgets to protect you and your car. 

Back in 2001, BMW put something new in their 7 Series, something very important called an emergency brake. Since then, the parking brake system has been massively popular in other cars too.

To be precise, the parking brake is a function that holds your car’s wheels not to move when you park. 

When you park your vehicle and press the parking brake, the vehicle stays in place and doesn’t move forward or backward to avoid damage.

But sometimes, a message on the dashboard shows Parking Brake Unavailable, which can be a major issue while you park.

This all-inclusive guide will explain why parking brakes don’t work and how to fix them with some easy solutions. So keep reading!

What Does Your Parking Brake Do?

A parking brake holds your car in place while you park your vehicle.

As we know, if your car is not fixated while you park, it can turn into a great disaster. Your car can move forward or backward, which is not safe at all. 

If you park your car uphill or downhill, your car will tend to move, which is not ideal. That’s where the parking brake comes into function.

When you pull the parking brake handle or push the parking brake button, there is a separate parking brake shoe that expands which rests inside the disk brake. The parking brake shoes expand when you press the parking brake button and hold the drum-like section inside the braking disk so that the car doesn’t move and stays in its place.

The parking brake is also called an emergency brake because it also works as an emergency brake. When you need to brake in a situation where you want to brake faster to avoid a collision, the parking brake or emergency brake can save your life. By pressing the emergency brake, you can stop your vehicle faster.

See Also: 

What is an engine brake?: Understanding the Function and Benefits

What Does Depressing Brake Pedal Means

What does parking brake unavailable mean?

What does parking brake unavailable mean

If you see the message “Parking Brake Unavailable” on the display, it means the system is trying to prevent the parking brake from overheating. This can happen if you repeatedly use the parking brake in a shorter period. 

There are a few more reasons for this message to appear rather than overheating, such as issues with the parking brake actuator, cable, switch, battery, rust, software issues, or problems with the brake control module or other electronic components. If you see this message, avoid driving it and have it checked by a professional to resolve the problem.

What causes parking brake malfunction?

In modern car technology, Parking brakes are a must to have. It is also known as an emergency brake. 

Most car nowadays uses an electric mechanism rather than a manual mode to function as a parking brake or a button. So. Like any other electronic component, it can experience issues despite having advantages. Here are some of the most common problems with electronic parking brakes:

1 . Faulty Cable: A faulty brake cable can not deliver pressure to brake shoes inside the brake disc. That’s why the brake shoes can not expand to function as a parking brake.

2. A Weak Battery: A weak battery can cause the electronic parking brake to malfunction. It may not provide the necessary voltage to operate the parking brake actuator or power up the system. You have to be sure that your vehicle’s battery is in good condition. You will have to replace the battery if the battery does not function, even after trying several times.

3. Uneven Brake Pad or brake shoe Wear: Electronic parking brakes rely on brake pads or shoes to grip the rotors and hold the vehicle in place. Over time, the brake pads can experience uneven wear, affecting the effectiveness of the electronic parking brake. This uneven wear can often lead to stuck brake calipers or might not be stuck at all.

4. Poor Lubrication: Proper lubrication of the electronic parking brake mechanism is necessary for its functioning smoothly. If not properly lubricated, it can stop the braking mechanism from functioning, and brake pads and rotors will wear out easily.

5. Rust and corrosion: if you rarely use the parking brake, you might encounter issues when activating it. Lack of daily use can lead to rust building up on the bell crank lever and parking brake cables. This rust accumulation can cause the parking brake to seize or get stuck; as a result, the parking brake button fails to activate the parking brake.

6. Software Issues: Electronic parking brakes are controlled by software and could malfunction due to software issues. 

When the Parking Brake Malfunction or Cruise Control Malfunction warning message appears, fault code C13B0 is active. It means that your parking brake is malfunctioning. To fix this issue, take the vehicle to a Toyota dealership to reprogram the built-in software if you have a service warranty.

It’s important to quickly identify any electronic parking brake problems to ensure your vehicle’s safety and functionality. If you encounter any of these issues mentioned above, consider seeking assistance from a qualified mechanic or contacting your vehicle’s manufacturer.

What Can You Do to Fix Your Parking Brake?

What Can You Do to Fix Your Parking Brake

A faulty parking braking system can be fixed by yourself if it’s not a major issue, but most of the time, you will need professional help. Here are some fixes that you can try:

  1. Battery issue: If your battery is not working, it won’t be able to power up your car’s electrical components, and your parking brake won’t work too.

To fix the battery issue, first, you need to unplug your battery for about 5 minutes and then plugin again. If it doesn’t work, it means your battery is dead, and you will have to replace the whole battery with a new one.

  1. Cable issue: If the cable of the parking brake system doesn’t work, it means the electrical system won’t do its job too.

To fix the cable issue, you must replace the whole wire to keep the parking brake working again. You will have to repair it by a professional mechanic, or you can claim a warranty from your dealership if your car has it.

3. Brake shoes or brake pads issue: If your brake pads or brake shoes are faulty, they will fail to lock on the braking surface and bring you to a brake failure.

To fix this issue, you will have to check which brake disks are worn out and replace them with the help of a professional mechanic.

Let’s look at the parking brake or emergency brake fail signs.

Signs That Your Emergency Brake Is Failing

Here are the signs that you need to look for to make sure your parking brake is faulty or not.

  • Park your vehicle at an uneven parking spot. After you park it, apply the parking or emergency brake and see if your car is moving or not.

If the car moves, then it means your car’s emergency braking system is not working anymore.

  • Check your car’s dashboard to spot an emergency brake light or any message about being a parking brake unavailable. If you see any light or message on your dashboard, it means the sensor has picked up that your emergency brake[ing system is not working anymore.

These are the signs you need to look for when you are inspecting emergency brake failure. If you see any of these, it’s best to repair it by a professional mechanic.

(Note: cars with automatic transmission systems have a parking pawl inside to hold your car while parking, but it is used for normal roads without uneven surfaces. So the parking pawl won’t be able to hold your car from not moving uphill or downhill or any snowy or slippery roads.)

That’s why if your emergency or parking brake is damaged, don’t rely on the parking paul and try to fix it as soon as possible.

Why is it Important that Your Parking Brake Be in Good Working Order?

Brake failure is a serious issue and can be disastrous if not fixed quickly. Let’s know why it is important to ensure your brake works every time before going on a ride.

When you park your vehicle with the emergency brake(parking brake), the car stays in position without moving. Also, when you get hit by another vehicle, the emergency brake makes sure that your car doesn’t roll forward or backward.

Also, in times of emergency, when you are moving at a moderate speed, if any car suddenly stops in front of you, you will be more likely to crash that vehicle. 

The emergency brake was made with this situation in mind. So when you push an emergency brake on a highway, the car stops faster than normal brakes and saves you from damage.

That’s why with these situations in mind, Your Parking Brake must Be in Good Working Order to prevent any accidents.

Can you drive with a parking brake malfunction?

Functionally you can drive your vehicle with a parking brake malfunction. As we know, the parking brake is not related to the driving mechanism. 

But the problem is when you park your vehicle with a faulty parking brake, it will start to move if the road is inclined or declines, and in the worst case scenario, if someone or something pushes your car, it will move much more and can cause an accident.


Parking brake unavailable message means your parking brake is temporarily stopped due to overheating or your parking brake system has become faulty. This can be a great issue if not fixed quickly.

By doing a thorough inspection, you should know how to fix the malfunctioning part by following the information above. It’s best to leave this problem to the pros as it is difficult to repair.

Always remember to double-check before you go on a lengthy ride and fix issues with your vehicle to have a safe ride.

{ Note: All this information is based on my personal experience and research}


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