How to Replace Your Emergency Brake

Many people have never had to actually utilize their emergency brake (also referred to as an e-brake, parking brake, or hand brake), but that does not make it any less an integral part of your vehicle. The fact of the matter is that the e-brake is there so that if your hydraulic brakes fail or you are parked or moving on a steep hill and begin to roll backwards, it will be your e-brake that could save your life. It is important that you can recognize not only what causes your e-brake to go but also how you can fix it.

How Does The Emergency Brake Wear When I Don’t Use It That Often?

The mechanical set-up of your emergency brake is rather simple. It consists of a lever on the driver’s end that then has a brake cable running to a brake mechanism on the other end. Rubber tubing surrounds this cable in order to keep out any debris. What happens over time is the tubing begins to wear away allowing dust, dirt, water, and other rubble to rub against the cable, corroding it and causing it to rust and eventually break.

Repair Your Parking Brake All On Your Own

When it comes to working on your car, replacing or fixing your emergency brake is one of the easier projects that does not require advanced knowledge of automotive mechanics. The first thing you will need to do is remove the covering that surrounds your e-brake lever, this is known as the boot. If the boot is leather, there should be lacing or a zipper for you to remove it if it is plastic you will need a flathead screwdriver to help you pry it up. The next thing you will want to do is very gently pull out the cables that are connected to the handle; there should be two, one to each rear tire. If you notice that a brake cable is a bit slack, this is most likely the one that needs repairing.

Once you have identified which cable needs fixing and which tire it goes to, you will need to loosen the lug nuts on that tire, put your car up on a jack, and completely remove that tire. You will need to go under your car, identify the broken cable, use a socket wrench to remove the cable (on both ends), and then put the new cable in. Tighten it all up and you are ready to roll.

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Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.

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