Originally Posted by HDDAN
I live in Boston and I use the E-brake all year long when parking and it does not freeze up or stick even in our harsh, snowy, sub zero winters. The reason for using the E-brake is that on a hill you can get a condition called "torque lock" with the automatic where the transmission will not be able to be shifted out of park. If this happens, you must have a couple of people push the car slightly up the hill to unload the transmission. It is kind of like what happens to your steering wheel when you force it to lock with the key removed and you must turn it slightly to unlock it. The right way to park an automatic, is to hold the car with the brake, set the E-brake, then put the car into park. When driving off, start the car, step on the brake, put the car into gear, then release the E-brake. This info is in the owners manual.
An old friend that is a mechanic told me that most times that people have problems with the ebrake freezing up or seizing is that it isn't used enough. The cable has a lubricant in it that is moved around when used. I use my brake all the time and always put it in gear when parking no matter an incline or a level surface. Just a good habit and it ensures the car isn't moving. After having a car rolled away on me that first time I make sure to use both 1st gear and the brake.