GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Cold weather is hard on your car.

So you have to take extra precautions to keep things running smoothly, especially with your brakes.

WFMY News 2 viewer Ophelia Jones wrote: "I heard once that when it is below freezing temperatures you should not set your emergency brake because you are at risk of snapping the brake line. Is this true? I always set my emergency brake because I was also told that it helps."

To verify these questions we checked in with two local mechanics, AAA and Toyota.

Both AAA and Toyota said you should avoid using the parking brake in cold, rainy or snowy weather, particularly when there is a freeze potential. When snow or water accumulates around the parking brake, it can freeze and snap.

So yes, we can verify that emergency brakes can snap.

Two mechanics in Greensboro said there's another problem that can cause your emergency brake to fail.

"A lot of people don't use them and then use them and snap a cable or something like that," said Jay Johnson of Swedish Auto Works.

Steve Vestal of Precision Tune Auto Care agreed.

"Most time parking brakes snap from lack of use."

Johnson and Vestal said you should use your parking brake regularly, especially when parking on uneven surfaces.

Manufacturers and mechanics around the country disagree on the regularity. Some say anytime you park you should use them. But others say use it occasionally and on hills.


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