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You may be able to hill start without one, but the good old handbrake plays an important role in keeping your parked car in one place. Nowadays the handbrake cable takes on a couple of different guises. More and more modern cars have button handbrakes, while some vehicles use foot brakes. The cable behind the scenes is there regardless, either connected directly to the lever or to an electric motor (for button operated models). When engaged the cable activates the rear brakes of your car, either by directly engaging the brake shoes or for vehicles with rear disc brakes it is attached to a brake caliper.
It is possible to over-tighten a brake cable, leading to brake rubbing and shortening the life of the vehicle’s brakes.
If your brake cable is damaged or non operational the vehicle is likely to roll even when it is engaged. A mechanic will know how “many clicks” the cable should be set at to have it operating at the optimal level.
It’s not uncommon for more model cars to have a warning light illuminated when there is an issue with the park/ handbrake.
In order to complete a handbrake cable replacement the car needs to be raised so the mechanic can access the bottom of the vehicle. The handbrake cable is released from the handbrake lever by removing the centre console in the car's cabin, then released from the rear brake drums or calipers.
A new cable will be run from the rear brakes (connected at the brakes first), clipped in place under the vehicle, and connected to the handbrake lever or electric motor in the cabin. It’s then tensioned to ensure it is working properly.
The cost of replacing the handbrake cable will depend on the type your car uses. Traditional lever based systems start at around $135, with electric button cable replacements often costing upwards of $1,200. The modern systems have additional components that may break and need to be replaced over time as well.
It is fair to assume the more common button handbrake systems will last longer, given there is a reduced risk of over tightening, and stretching the cable. Regardless, the replacement of the handbrake cable is uncommon.
The handbrake is also known as an “emergency brake”. As well as helping to stop quickly, it also plays a key role in stopping your car rolling when parked. It's important you get a faulty handbrake fixed asap.
At My Auto Shop we have hundreds of trained, MTA approved mechanics ready to get your Handbrake Cable Replacement completed. Booking takes just 2 minutes.
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