Car Mechanics (UK)

Bad brake ad­just­ment

- Iceland · Vauxhall Motors · Austria

► Some mo­torists are ex­tremely fussy about the amount of travel on a ve­hi­cle’s hand­brake, of­ten believing that a shorter travel equals a bet­ter brake. This is not al­ways the case. Very of­ten in­suf­fi­cient hand­brake travel can pre­vent the self-ad­juster mech­a­nism in the rear brakes from work­ing cor­rectly. This is ap­pli­ca­ble to both disc and drum rear brakes.

The owner of this 2006 Vaux­hall Corsa had taken to ad­just­ing up the hand­brake him­self by tight­en­ing the ad­just­ment at the lever end. This gave him the de­sired short travel, but he was still un­happy with the op­er­a­tion of the hand­brake. When the car came in for its an­nual ser­vice, he asked us to make sure the hand­brake was ad­justed cor­rectly.

When re­mov­ing the rear brake drums, we dis­cov­ered that he had wound up the brake ca­ble so tightly that the hand­brake levers on the brake shoes were not re­turn­ing cor­rectly to the ‘off’ po­si­tion. This meant the brake shoe’s self-ad­just­ing mech­a­nism was not op­er­at­ing, leav­ing both the foot­brake and hand­brake out of ad­just­ment. With the hand­brake ca­ble slack­ened and the rear brakes ad­justed cor­rectly, the Corsa not only had a good hand­brake, but a bet­ter foot­brake.

 ??  ?? The hand­brake levers were not be­ing al­lowed to re­turn fully, pre­vent­ing the ad­just­ing mech­a­nism from op­er­at­ing.
The hand­brake levers were not be­ing al­lowed to re­turn fully, pre­vent­ing the ad­just­ing mech­a­nism from op­er­at­ing.

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