Make sure your handbrake is always handy!

LexpressCars Handbrake banner

One of the commandments for drivers is ‘Know Thy Car as Thyself!’

You don’t have to be a mechanic, but a reasonable understanding of how the main components of your car operate will help ensure its smooth running and safe driving. Let’s talk about the handbrake…

Your handbrake –also called the parking brake or the emergency brake– utilises the same system as the brake pedal. The lever pulls a metal cable attached to the brake shoes. They lock against the discs, preventing the car from moving.

When the handbrake is applied, it triggers a series of cables that apply manual brakes to the wheels, usually the rear two. These brakes will exert more force when the handbrake is pulled higher, until at the stage where the car won’t move under any form of acceleration.

LexpressCars Handbrake 1
Faulty cable

It is important to always ascertain that your handbrake is in good operating conditions. The most obvious sign that it is failing is when your car still moves when the vehicle is parked, and the brake applied.

This could be due to worn or damaged brake shoes or discs, but the most likely reason will be a fault with your handbrake cable.

Remember the handbrake can be affected if your car has sat stationary for extended periods. Without regular use, it could become prone to sticking or with overuse, the cable can suffer from prolonged duress.

Another key symptom is when your handbrake becomes stuck in place and won’t release. Normally the warning light on your dashboard illuminates when the relevant sensor has detected a fault.

Safety feature

Because the brakes are such an important safety feature of your car, you should pay close and regular attention to their performance. Checks and maintenance should be carried out during all services to spot issues before they develop into more severe problems. In addition, regular servicing will give your handbrake years of sound and efficient service.

So, the moment any malfunctioning is detected immediately head to the garage. Take good care of your handbrake, and it will take good care of you!