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Old 03-20-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Quick E-Brake Question...

I took my car to the dealership to get the E-Brake fixed (warranty).

Here is what was wrong, If stopped at a light, i pull the e-brake up all the way, and the car will still creep forward. If i Am cruising down the road and pull the e-brake up the car will slow down probably 1 mph per second (Didnt really do anything).

When i put my car in Drive, keep the e-brake up and try and push my car it wont move.

Correct me if i am wrong but the E-Brake should lock the wheels up when pulled all the way up very fast, right? Or i should be able to, at the very least, slow the car to a stop almost as good as my brake pedal can by pulling the e-brake smoothly and slowly?

I took it to the dealership and they "fixed" it. Now it is a teeny tiny bit better at slowing the vehicle. You can feel the braking but it still wont stop the vehicle in double the distance my brake pedal can.

I am thinking all they did was tighten the cable hooked to the E-Brake lever.

I personally thing the actual mechanism at the rear wheels is crap. Like no brake pad? Why would they keep my car all day, from 7am to 6pm and only tighten a cable and not bother to check the braking mechanism that the E-Brake activates?

Any Ideas?


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Old 03-20-2009, 09:45 PM   #2
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All i have to say is drum brakes suck.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Heres a fix. Rears disk swap. Also if you take out your center consol there is a small nut on the ebrake itself for adjustment. Don't over tighten it but that will help. Also check your shoes in the rear.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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well you should be able to feel the braking effects when your pulling the lever while driving, but you will take much longer to slow the car down when comparing it to pressing your brake pedal. most of your braking is done with your front brakes. so if most of your braking is done with the front brakes and your not even using them when your just pulling the brake lever; using just the lever, your probably only using like 20% of braking force, if that compared to normal braking with the pedal.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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You should definitely feel a difference, maybe not necessarily a lock up the wheels and skid to a stop effect, but you should feel the car pulling back. Something to keep in mind is that the rear brakes only provide 20% of your stopping power on a GOOD day, so if you're cruising and you pull that lever, you're just going to burn up your brakes. I ran into the same problem, and eventually I got to a point where I could even push my car with the brake active, I replaced my rear shoes and the problem was solved.

If you have never done drum brakes before, I wouldn't recommend changing them yourself unless you have a friend that knows them or a good repair manual. Also, only do one side at a time because if you mess up and forget where a spring goes, you can go look at the other side and see what to do. Another heads up, you have to remove the whole hub assembly to change the shoes on a focus, you well need a 30mm socket.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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Drums suck thats all there is too it. And its a emergency brake not a I don't feel like hittin' the pedal so I'll use my second brake lever lol. Its there to help slow the car by no means stop it unless in? yup you guessed it a emergency lol. It only a last resort to a failed brake system and its there to just hold the car in place. Also being that your car is already what 4yrs old. If you never replaced the rear brakes then that would be the first place I look. You probably just need new shoes (drums have shoes disc have pads). I have a painted set of drums ready to go on my car with wheel bearing pressed in. If you replace your rear drums you will need to have some new bearing pressed into the drum.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:14 AM   #7
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First, it's technically a parking brake. Notice the indicator light in the gauge cluster is (P) not (E).

That being said, it can also be used in emergency situations, as others have said. This is why most people call it an E-brake.

If your car is parked, in neutral, parking brake on, and you can't for the life of you roll it by pushing on it or if it holds itself on an incline then there is nothing wrong with it.

I can engage the parking brake on my Silverado and drive off like normal...only notice a slight drag. But the brake works fine for holding the truck on anything other than a mountain side.

If your shit ain't broke...don't fix it! :)

-Edit- By emergency situations I mean...if your service brakes go out, you can slow down to the side of the road using the parking brake SLOWLY. Don't try to lock your rear tires up with it. If you have to slam on your brakes and still think you'll rear end someone...DO NOT yank the hand brake. You'll likely skid and crash and burn. /edit

Last edited by wsigo; 03-21-2009 at 01:49 AM.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:49 AM   #8
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ITS CALLED A PARKING BRAKE TECHNICALLY! Not designed to be used for emergeny stops at high speeds! sorry just very strict about the terminology.
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:56 AM   #9
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^^^last two poster have said it best.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:33 AM   #10
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mine will allow me to back up but not really pull forward. everyone has said it best. check the tightness in the console and also check your pads....
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