A reader named Eric asked the following:
“I’m wondering if any of your readers have had any issues when releasing the emergency [parking] brake? I’ve noted a definite, metallic ‘clank’ coming from the right rear end when I release the brake. Should I be worried?”
I’ve noticed the same thing, and have been meaning to mention it…
As far as I can tell, this is just the sound of the rear drum brake releasing, and it isn’t a cause for alarm. It’s most noticeable if you have the door or windows open, but even without that you can often hear it.
Note: The Highlander has front and rear disc brakes, but the parking (or emergency) brake is a (rear) drum brake.
I’ve searched a bit for other mentions of this behavior on the web and it seems that many other owners have noticed it, too. Some describe it as a “clank,” others call it a “clunk” or a “thunk,” and still others refer to it as a “popping” noise.
Whatever you call it (I personally think that “clank” is the most accurate description) this seems to be normal behavior. When you release the parking brake, especially if you release it quickly, you’ll hear it disengage.
What about you? Do you hear anything when you release the parking brake? Or have you run across any other strange sounds when driving your Highlander? Please let us know by leaving a comment, below.