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2000 Forester L
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Made a huge mistake today and drove with my parking brake at least partially on. Went about 10 miles, half the time on the freeway going about 60 mph. I didn't notice it driving differently, or hear any odd noises while driving, but when I stopped and got out I definitely noticed a smell. It slowed down and seems like it stopped just like normal, but I am definitely concerned about the smell. How badly have I screwed up? Is there anything I should look for other than the brakes failing?
 

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MY05 Forester 2.5 XT 5MT
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3,163 Posts
You probably just glazed your handbrake shoes - Replacing those alone should be plenty to sort any concerns but have a look at the brake discs/drums when you look at the shoes.

You might want to check your handbrake cable line tension as that might need adjusting now...Maybe.

Did you not notice the handbrake symbol on the dash while driving?

Your handbrake is on a completely different "system" to your regular brakes you use by the brake pedal, so those brakes will work fine still

Assuming you have an automatic transmission, you might want to check that fluid for signs of burning, just to be on the safe side but again, you should be fine.......
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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5,060 Posts
... drove with my parking brake at least partially on. Went about 10 miles, half the time on the freeway going about 60 mph... when I stopped and got out I definitely noticed a smell... Is there anything I should look for other than the brakes failing?
A few years ago I drove 5 miles at 30 mph with my parking brake on just one click of the handle. When I got home, I noticed the smell, and the center of the wheel was too hot to hold my hand against. Nothing was affected and I did not check the parts.
You drove further and faster, and could have damaged the parking brake shoes, as well as overheated the rear wheel bearings and liquified their grease which could have gotten out of the hubs. I would have things checked.
 

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2001 Forester S, 4EAT
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3,385 Posts
Been there and done that with my 1992 Honda Civic. Nothing major other than wearing out the shoes and glazing them.
 

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'14 Forester XT Touring
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877 Posts
You'll be fine. You just shorten your rear pads life, that's all. The rear brake pads will self adjust to the added wear.
The glazing will wear off too over time.
Just don't make it a habit now LOL.
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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5,060 Posts
You'll be fine. You just shorten your rear pads life, that's all. The rear brake pads will self adjust to the added wear.... The glazing will wear off...
The hand (emergency) brake uses its own shoes which are separate from the shoes (if drum brakes) or pads (if disk brakes). The emergency brake is not self adjusting.
The emergency brake is used to hold the car stopped, but not to stop the car. So it does not receive wear that would remove any glaze.
 

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2000 Forester L
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you not notice the handbrake symbol on the dash while driving?...
I didn't notice the light on while I was driving, I'm not sure how. I was in a hurry (which is probably how I forgot to put the brake down), so I think I may have just looked past it somehow. It's good to know though that I shouldn't have to worry about not being to stop. I'll check out what you said to check out. Thanks!
 

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2000 Forester L
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The hand (emergency) brake uses its own shoes which are separate from the shoes (if drum brakes) or pads (if disk brakes). The emergency brake is not self adjusting... The emergency brake is used to hold the car stopped, but not to stop the car. So it does not receive wear that would remove any glaze.
So since they are separate, it's really only the handbrake that I should be concerned about?
 

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2008 LL Bean (4EAT)
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5,060 Posts
Not only the hand brake shoes.
Consider the effect of extreme heat on the wheel bearings and their grease, and so the main brake shoes.
The grease would have liquified and centrifugal force would have spun it out to everywhere it could reach in and around the hub.
Your brakes are probably drums, so brake shoes should be inspected for contamination which would reduce their braking ability.
And the rear wheel bearings should be inspected, and the bearings re-greased if now dry.
 

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99 L 5MT
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185 Posts
Done this on 2 different Subarus for not as long as you but it was fine both times. The fact that you didn't notice it probably means it didn't do as much damage, both times for me I thought the car was braking
 
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