Adjusting Emergency Brakes

 

Unlike regular brakes, emergency brakes are purely mechanical, and as such this means that they not only work differently, but also need to be maintained in a different manner. One of the easiest ways to maintain the emergency brake is to periodically adjust it. Considering this difference, adjusting emergency brakes is a process that is not the same as what you may do when working with regular disc or drum brakes.

  1. Test your brakes. Before you actually begin adjusting emergency brakes, you need to test them to see if they really do need adjusting. The easiest way to do this is by finding a slight hill, and then engaging the brake. You will easily be able to tell when the brake actually begins to engage. When you press on, or pull on, the brake you should begin to feel it engage after moving 1/3 of the way. Anything more than that means that you will need to do some adjusting.
  2. Raise the car. In the event that you do need to adjust your brakes, you will need to raise the car to access the brake line. Ideally, you will be able to do this with the help of a lift, but if you can't then you will want to use some jack stands. Make sure that the car is nice and stable when you have it lifted.
  3. Locate the brake. Crawl under the car, and locate the emergency brake adjustment. This brake line is usually located underneath the car, in roughly the same area that the brake is located at inside the vehicle. Find the brake line that is attached, and locate the screw or bolt that is located nearby to help tighten the line.
  4. Make your adjustment. Using either a wrench or screwdriver, tighten the brake line so that it will engage sooner than it had in the past. You should be able to visibly identify when the brake line has been tightened.
  5. Lower and test. Lower the car off of the lift or jack stands. Repeat the test outlined in step one to see if the emergency brake engages sooner than it did.
  6. Repeat as necessary. If the brake still isn't where you would like it, then repeat steps one through five until you have it adjusted to your liking.

Now that you have your emergency brakes properly adjusted, you can begin cleaning up. Typically you should only need to test your emergency brake once or twice a year to ensure that it is working properly. If you feel that the brake adjustments need to be made more often, and then feel free to do so.

More Car Tips

Fixing Squeaky Brakes

Squeaky brakes can be annoying and embarrassing. Knowing how to fix them can help you keep your sanity while saving money. ...

Discover More

How to Check Your Brake Fluid

Too many people go by without checking their brake fluid themselves, and leave it for their periodic tune up. Instead of ...

Discover More

Dealing with Failing Brakes

Your brakes are an integral part of your car. Everyone knows that they are essential for stopping your car. But what do you ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube