Range Rover parking brake won’t release: how to fix

As an experienced mechanic and a proud owner of multiple Range Rovers over the years, I can confidently say that Range Rover has a certain reputation when it comes to reliability issues.

But let’s not dwell on that for too long and instead, let’s focus on one of the common issues that owners face: a parking brake that won’t release.

Yes, you read that right, your Range Rover is supposed to stop moving after you engage the parking brake, but what do you do when it refuses to release?

In this article, I’ll discuss the signs and symptoms, and possible causes, and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix it.

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

The most obvious sign that your Range Rover’s parking brake is refusing to release is that you won’t be able to move forward.

The brake will feel fully engaged as if you’re still actively applying the brake, but no matter how hard you press the gas pedal, you won’t move an inch.

List of possible OBD codes

While there is no specific OBD code that refers to a stuck parking brake, there are a few codes related to the braking system that could be triggered as a result.

Some of these codes include:

  • C0051- The electronic control module (ECM) has detected an issue with the brake pressure booster.
  • U0416- The ECM has detected a communication issue with the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) module.
  • P228C- The ECM has detected an issue with the fuel injector air control valve on the braking system.

Common causes

There can be multiple reasons why your parking brake won’t release, including:

  • Broken cables or cable clips: Over time, the parking brake cable or clips that hold the cable in place may break. The cable may also become disconnected from the actuator that releases the brake.
  • Malfunctioning actuator: The actuator is responsible for releasing the parking brake. If it malfunctions, the brake may not release.
  • Faulty brake calipers: If the brake calipers are stuck and don’t retract properly, the parking brake may not release.
  • Low brake fluid: Low brake fluid can cause problems with the braking system, including a parking brake that won’t release.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

While it’s possible to fix a stuck parking brake without a mechanic’s help, it can be complicated and requires specific expertise and tools.

If you’re confident in your abilities to diagnose and fix the issue, you can give it a try.

However, if you’re uncertain and don’t want to risk causing more damage, it’s best to seek the help of a professional mechanic.

Parts you’ll need to fix it

The parts you’ll need to fix a stuck parking brake will vary depending on the issue’s root cause.

Some parts you may need include:

  • Replacement parking brake cable
  • New cable clips
  • Replacement actuator
  • New brake calipers
  • Brake fluid

Tools you’ll need to fix it

To fix a stuck parking brake, you’ll need some specialized tools, including:

  • 3/8″ ratchet wrench
  • 3/8″ torque wrench
  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers
  • Brake piston tool
  • Brake bleeder tool
  • Brake fluid tester

How to fix it

Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty, how to fix a stuck parking brake. The following is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Chock the wheels: Use chocks or bricks to prevent your Range Rover from rolling while you work on the brakes.
  2. Locate the brake cable: Identify where the parking brake cable connects to the brake assembly.
  3. Check the cable and connection: Check the condition of the cable and the connection to the assembly to ensure it’s securely connected and not broken or frayed.
  4. Spray penetrating oil: Apply a liberal amount of penetrating oil to all the moving parts on the brake assembly, including the cable.
  5. Wiggle the cable: Try to wiggle the cable while someone else is pulling the release handle inside the car.
  6. Check the brake calipers: Check the brake calipers to make sure they’re not sticking or corroded.
  7. Check the brake fluid: Verify that the brake fluid levels are good and not low.
  8. Bleed the brake system: Start by bleeding the brake system, starting from the furthest break away from the master cylinder.
  9. Inspect the actuator: Inspect the actuator to ensure that it’s working correctly.
  10. Replace any broken parts: If you’ve identified any damaged or broken parts, replace them with new ones.
  11. Test the parking brake: Test the parking brake to see if it has been released or if it still needs further adjustments.

Potential alternative causes

While the common causes mentioned above are the most likely culprits for a stuck parking brake, there could be other reasons as well.

These could include issues with the ABS module or a faulty brake switch. If you’ve eliminated these common causes and the problem persists, it’s best to consult with a mechanic.


How do I release the parking brake on my Range Rover?

To release the parking brake on your Range Rover, press down on the brake pedal with your foot while pulling up the release lever located under the dash on the driver’s side.

Why won’t my parking brake release on my Range Rover?

The most common causes of a parking brake that won’t release on a Range Rover include broken cables, malfunctioning actuators, faulty brake calipers, and low brake fluid.

Can I release the parking brake manually?

Yes, you can release the parking brake manually by identifying the parking brake cable’s release mechanism and carefully releasing it.

Can I drive with a parking brake that won’t release?

No, driving with a parking brake engaged is dangerous and can cause significant damage to your vehicle’s braking system.

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