How To Turn On/Off Parking Brake on 2022 Ford Explorer

As the proud owner of a new 2022 Ford Explorer, there are many exciting features for you to learn about in your vehicle. One important area to understand is how to operate the parking brake. The parking brake may seem like a simple part of the vehicle, but learning how to properly use it is essential for keeping your Explorer safe when parked.

In this conversational guide, we’ll walk through the ins and outs of using the innovative electric parking brake in your 2022 Explorer with an easy-to-follow, second-person perspective. You’ll learn step-by-step how to engage and disengage the parking brake, safety tips, and how to tell if there is ever an issue. Let’s get to it!

Here’s a quick answer:

To turn on the parking brake in a 2022 Ford Explorer, first come to a complete stop with the vehicle in park. Next, press down the brake pedal, then pull up on the parking brake switch on the center console until it clicks into place. Check that the parking brake indicator light illuminates on the dash. To turn it off, press the brake pedal and push down the parking brake switch, waiting for the indicator light to turn off before slowly driving away.

Understanding the Parking Brake

First, it’s helpful to understand what exactly the parking brake does in your vehicle. The parking brake’s main job is to help keep your Explorer stationary when parked and prevent accidental movement, especially on inclines. It works by squeezing the rear brakes even after you’ve shifted out of park or turned off the engine.

Your Explorer has an advanced, electrically-operated parking brake instead of the old fashioned manual lever style. This gives you faster application and release, with no need for you to apply intense physical force on a handle. It operates with the flip of a switch and lets the computer control take care of smoothly applying and releasing the rear brakes at the perfect pressure. Pretty slick, huh?

How to Engage the Parking Brake

Now that you know what the parking brake does, let’s go through using it in your Explorer:

1. Come to a complete stop. Make sure your Explorer is fully stopped before you engage the parking brake.

2. Shift into Park. Shift your automatic transmission into the “Park” position.

3. Press the brake pedal. Before you engage the parking brake, press your foot down firmly on the brake pedal and hold it there.

4. Pull up on the parking brake switch. While maintaining pressure on the brake pedal, locate the parking brake switch on the center console and pull it straight up with a continuous motion. You will feel and hear it click up into place when it engages.

5. Check for the indicator light. On your instrument panel, look for the red “parking brake” light to illuminate, confirming that parking brake is now engaged.

When you are done correctly following those steps with the engine running, your 2022 Explorer will shift into standstill mode, held securely with the rear brakes applied until you release them.

How to Release the Parking Brake

Releasing your parking brake to drive off is just as easy as engaging it. Here is the simple process:

1. Press and hold the brake pedal down. Before releasing the parking brake, make sure you have your foot firmly on the brake pedal first.

2. Press the parking brake switch down. While pressing the brake, push the parking brake switch down with a fluid motion.

3. Wait for the light to go off. After you have released the switch, check that the “parking brake” indicator light on your dash turns off, showing that the parking brake has disengaged.

4. Gently press the accelerator. Slowly press down the accelerator pedal to get your Explorer moving forwards as you release the brake pedal. This smooth movement prevents any jerking against the parking brake.

Helpful Usage Tips

Now that you know how to operate the on and off switch functions, here are some useful parking brake tips to remember:

  • Even on flat ground, make a habit of always setting the parking brake when parked. This gives an extra layer of protection against accidental rolling.
  • Use extra caution on hills and inclines. The parking brake alone may not hold on steep slopes, so turn your wheels towards the curb and put wheel chocks behind the tires.
  • Don’t try to drive off with the parking brake still set. You risk damaging the rear brakes and other components. The vehicle will warn you if you accidentally try to accelerate without releasing.
  • Make sure to press and release smoothly when operating. Jerky or partial switch movements can cause trouble.

Identifying Potential Issues

Properly functioning parking brakes are crucial for safety, so it’s important to know how to spot problems. Here is what to watch out for:

  • The parking brake indicator light stays on after driving off. This signals that the parking brake did not fully release and should be addressed immediately to prevent brake damage. Carefully pull over and let go of the switch again.
  • You hear grinding noises when braking. If you hear scraping, grinding or squealing when using the brakes, it could indicate wear and issues stopping. Have your brakes inspected.
  • The vehicle rolls excessively before stopping. Performance loss where it takes longer distances to brake could point to problems in the system.
  • The parking brake switch has no tension. Loose, non-responsive switch operation can mean issues inside the calipers, cables or mechanisms.
  • Any continuous flashing of the parking brake light points to serious problems needing professional service. Book an inspection if you encounter flashing.


You probably still have some questions about managing your parking brake. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

1. Why won’t my Explorer shift out of park with the parking brake on?

Your Explorer has an interlock system that prevents shifting if the parking brake hasn’t been released. This helps avoid accidentally driving off and damaging components.

2. Do I have to replace the parking brake pads regularly?

No, the electric parking brake uses the standard rear brake pads. Just follow Ford’s maintenance schedule for inspecting and replacing rear brake pads.

3. Can I release the parking brake if the engine won’t start?

No, the parking brake requires electrical power and uses the hydraulic brake pressure provided when you press the brake pedal. You cannot release without both. This prevents roll-aways.

4. Will using the parking brake reduce rear brake pad life?

Using the parking brake moderately has minimal effect on rear brake pad wear over time. Letting it drag by not releasing fully would cause premature wear.

Explore With Confidence!

We just covered everything you need to know to control your 2022 Ford Explorer’s parking brake like an expert! Follow this guide to confidently park anywhere with total peace of mind. Here’s to many miles ahead exploring this beautiful country in your capable new SUV. Hit the road and have fun!

Similar Posts