Are you facing the problem where when you push to start your car, the car won’t start, and at the same time, your brake is locked?
If you do not know this already, this combination of the two problems is a common occurrence. However, there can be several causes behind this.
This problem essentially occurs in power brakes. However, power brakes are not the only cause.
Before you decide what you should do about your engine not starting and the brakes being locked, you need to get to its cause. You need to figure out what is causing your brakes to be locked.
Here are common reasons why the push to start car won’t start and the brake is locked:
1. Exhausted Vacuum
Most cars nowadays have power brakes. The power assist that brakes have is dependent upon engine vacuum. The vacuum diaphragm in your power brakes helps you control your car’s brake pedals.
It means that the vacuum controls the force you apply on your brake pedal to optimize your brakes’ control.
When you switch off your car’s engine, a slight vacuum is stored in the system. This vacuum reserve runs out pretty quick.
When your engine is off, and the vacuum is gone, the next time you press your brakes, they will be locked, and you will not be able to press them quickly.
While your power assist using the vacuum would usually have helped you, in this case, it is not present and thus will not. It also means that your brakes will be fine once your car starts again.
However, if, at the same time, your car is not starting, you may want to explore why your car is not starting either. Here are some reasons why:
Fuel Delivery Issues
Your car is not starting because enough fuel is not being delivered into the combustion chamber. As a result, your engine will not start.
If on top of this, your brake pump is exhausted, it will lock your brakes as well. It often happens when the fuel pump has failed or is clogged, or the injectors fail.
A relatively common reason your car won’t start could be that your battery is dead. If your car is completely unresponsive when you push to start it, it is likely because of a dead battery.
Depending on the age and condition of the battery, you may have to jump-start or even replace it.
2. Brake Drag
Brake drag is a condition in which the brake calipers may activate and lock even though you have not pressed on your brakes. It is due to residual hydraulic pressure.
It can result in locking up your brakes and could be why your car won’t push start.
Furthermore, brake drag may occur if your calipers are not appropriately aligned with your rotor.
It is a problem that needs to be resolved right away as It can cause mechanical failure of other braking system components.
3. Brake Lock-Up
Another scenario in which your brakes may lock up is when you break too hard. Even though you may have done this to avoid a crash, this could be harmful to your braking system.
When brakes are applied fully, they can activate the total stopping power.
Brakes are designed to do so for your safety. When this happens, your brakes may lock up, and you may lose control.
Combined with other problems, such as the ones listed above, this could be why your brakes are locked up and also your engine won’t start.
4. Damaged Ignition Switch
Another reason why the push to start car won’t start. The brake is locked could be that the ignition switch is damaged.
It is a common occurrence in old cars. If you have a car with a bad ignition switch, you may often face this issue.
Often, you may have to place efforts to start your car, and in return, your car may die after a few seconds. It is happening that ignition plugs are responsible for the spark in the spark plug in your car.
When this spark is not created, neither is the fuel ignited. It explains why your car won’t start in this case.
5. Faulty Battery Terminal
Another cause that leads to the push to start the car not working and locking the brakes is the battery’s issue.
One issue is when the starter cable disconnects from the battery. Another cause is when there is corrosion in the battery terminals.
Similarly, another cause could be a dead starter motor. An indicator of this is loud clicking noises when you turn the key. A dead starter motor is characterized by a significant drop in voltage when you turn the key.
In such a situation, you need to do a thorough inspection of the battery and the surrounding and connected components. An inspection of all the components will help you determine what is wrong.
Getting To The Solution
The next thing you need to know is what to do when the push to start car won’t start, and the brake is locked.
First, it is recommended to check your battery and associated components such as wires and plugs. You may also want to check out the ignition switch. Check and ensure that no part needs replacement.
An excellent solution to unlocking your brakes is to depress them. It means pressing the brake pedal, pressing on it, and starting the engine.
However, before you opt for a quick fix, you should find the root cause.
Problems with the ignition switch are found by pressing the brakes and checking to see the brake lights are still on. If it does not, the ignition switch might be the problem.
When you check the battery, you should look for corrosion underneath the terminals. Check to see if the battery needs to be replaced.
In an exhausted vacuum, you should replace the master cylinder line. However, first, try depressing the breaks and then starting the car.
Familiar with this occurrence of brakes locking and car not starting, nevertheless, it can be frustrating. However, once you get to its cause, it is an easy fix.
This knowledge will solve the problem for you, but it will also help you in the future. When you are in a hurry, and this happens, you will thank yourself for having this information.
In short, knowledge of the causes will help you get to the solution.
Patrick started his love affair with cars in his childhood. Over the years, he claims a sturdy hold on his driving skills, along with a thorough understanding of cars. We can expect some interesting, holistic, and pleasurable blogs with his flair for writing and his love for cars.
Being a car enthusiast, Patrick has experience comprising of two decades in which he has ridden some of the meanest and strongest machines in the automotive industry. His previous avatars include an automotive professional, photographer, and journalist, and you will certainly experience the roundness of experience in his piece on this site.
In his second decade of reviewing cars and analyzing tools, Patrick is all set to give you convincing, reliable, and the latest information regarding what’s happening in the automotive industry. Currently, he owns a BMW Z3 but cannot get his eyes off Aston Martin DB5. He is a car enthusiast; he loves cooking and listening to music, especially jazz. Here are some of the pieces written by our ace author.