Your Handbrake Deserves Regular Care

   Dec 06,2023

Taking care of your handbrake is crucial because it plays a big part in keeping your car in place when parked. Imagine parking on a slope – the handbrake prevents your car from rolling away. But, like anything else, it needs proper maintenance.


Your handbrake has a cable, often called a parking brake or emergency brake, which operates the emergency brake at the back wheels of your car. It's a safety feature to make sure your parked car stays put. The cable is essential for securing your car, and if it gets too worn or stretched, it might not work correctly. This means your car could roll or lean even if you've pulled the handbrake as far as it goes.

Handbrake cable adjustment

It is usually found in the center console where your handbrake is, there are adjustment nuts behind the lever. If you can't see them, your mechanic might have to remove the center console to get to them.

When you pull your handbrake, it should keep your car in place. If it doesn't, there might be an issue with the handbrake cable. Over time, these cables stretch and wear out. Regular checks are essential to ensure they're in good shape. If they're not, they might need adjusting or replacing. You should especially check the cables when you're replacing other braking components like pads or discs.

Handbrake failure can happen if the cable wears out, or there's an issue with the electronic system controlling the parking brake. In cars with a manual handbrake, you might feel it getting a bit 'slack' over time due to a stretched cable.

Can the handbrake snap?

If your handbrake cable snaps, it's a big problem. There'll be nothing to keep your car in place when it's not moving, and that's dangerous.

Replacing a handbrake cable is a bit like maintaining any other part of your car. The handbrake in most cars is a mechanical system of rods and cables that you operate with a lever. These parts wear out with time. The cables might become slack, or pivot points can get grooved, causing more slack. You can adjust for wear for a while, but eventually, you'll need to replace those worn-out parts.

How can you tell if your handbrake is getting worn?

  • Push the foot brake to make sure the car stays still.
  • Let go of the handbrake, and then pull it again.
  • Take your foot off the brake – if the car stays in place and the handbrake didn't go up too much, everything is good.

Taking care of your handbrake ensures your car stays securely parked, keeping you and your vehicle safe.

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