Toyota Parking Brake Unavailable (Solved & Explained)

You don’t realize how important your Toyota parking brake is until it’s unavailable. Any time you park your car, you should engage the parking brake.

This may be the difference between knowing your car is safe and secure, and watching it roll out of your driveway.

In this article, we’ll talk about the reasons why the dashboard displays the “Parking Brake Unavailable” message.

What Does Your Toyota Parking Brake Do?

What Does Your Toyota Parking Brake Do?

Your parking brake serves two main purposes. First, it prevents your car from rolling forwards or backward when your car is in park.

If you run into the store on a hilly street, you’ll need to engage the parking brake, so your car doesn’t roll away.

The same is true for ice and snow. If you park on an icy or snowy driveway, the last thing you want is for it to roll backward.

The best way to stop this from happening is to pull the parking brake before you go into the house.

The second main purpose of your Toyota parking brake is to stop the car in case of an emergency. Imagine you’re driving 35 miles per hour down a quiet stretch of road.

Suddenly, a car pulls out in front of you from a side street. If you can’t brake in time (or, if your brakes don’t work) you can always pull the emergency brake. 

The emergency, or parking brake, will stop the car in case of emergency. It can mean the difference between smashing into the car in front of you and avoiding a collision.

This is why it’s so important that your Toyota parking brake is available to you at all times.

How Will You Know Your Parking Brake is Unavailable?

How Will You Know Your Parking Brake is Unavailable?

There are a few ways you can tell that your Toyota electronic parking brake is unavailable. Obviously, if your parking brake isn’t working, there must be something wrong with it.

If you use your parking brake when you’re supposed to – such as when parked on a slope – you can’t miss the fact that it’s not working.

You can also detect that your electronic parking brake is unavailable when the malfunction message appears on your dash.

When your car’s sensor notices that the parking brake didn’t engage properly, it notifies your message system and notifies you of the problem. 

One final way to see if your parking brake is working is by listening to the noise. When you pull or push on your Toyota parking brake, you should hear a clicking noise.

If you don’t hear this, it means there’s a good chance your system is malfunctioning. 

What Could Cause Your Toyota Parking Brake to Become Unavailable?

What Could Cause Your Toyota Parking Brake to Become Unavailable?

There are a few things that can cause your electronic parking brake to malfunction. It is usually caused by a faulty or dead battery.

When your battery dies, the electronic system can’t work properly. This causes your electronic parking brake to malfunction.

Another thing that can cause your parking brake to become unavailable is parking it in or near a pile of snow. The cold temperatures of the snow can freeze your electronic system, including your parking brake.

One other common cause of an unavailable parking brake is performing maintenance on your brake pads or rotors.

When you retract your parking brake, it can trigger your electronic parking brake as well. The computer in your vehicle will alert you to this with the malfunction message. 

If this happens to you, there are a few things you can do to fix it. 

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

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

People who live in the suburbs and even some cities park their vehicles in their driveways. Most driveways are sloped. This means that, if you don’t engage your Toyota parking brake, your car can roll away.

If your emergency brake fails, there is no way to ensure your car won’t roll backward or forwards.

There’s always the chance this will happen in the middle of the day and a car will smash into it. Rather than risk this happening, you should consider parking your vehicle on the street.

At least if your car is parked along the curb, there’s less of a chance of it rolling away. As long as you put the gear in park, you should be okay.

In the meantime, you should take your car to an auto mechanic or local Toyota dealership and have it fixed.

It’s dangerous to drive around without a parking brake. Not only does it keep your car secure while parked, but it can also help in case of an emergency.

What Can You Do to Fix Your Toyota Parking Brake?

What Can You Do to Fix Your Toyota Parking Brake?

One of the easiest ways to fix your unavailable parking brake is to unplug your battery for about 5 minutes. When you plug it back in, you should see the malfunction message disappear.

You may have to replace the battery entirely. It’s a good idea to try this before you start tinkering with your vehicle. It could be something as simple as a bad battery.

However, if this doesn’t work, you may have no choice but to take it to your local Toyota dealer.

When you do finally get an answer, they may tell you that the parking brake became disengaged when you were repairing your brakes.

This is a common occurrence. Thankfully, it should be an easy fix that doesn’t cost you all that much.

Last Resort – Take Your Toyota to the Mechanic or Dealership

If you’re unable to release your parking brake, it may be time to take your car to the shop. You can rely on a local mechanic or a Toyota dealership to help fix your parking brake. 

Experts have dealt with these issues many times over their careers. They know how to safely fix your parking brake so you can trust it to keep you and your vehicle secure once again.

All you need to do is call your mechanic, give them the make and model of your Toyota, and tell them the problem.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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