Handbrakes are your last line of defence when it comes to preventing accidents. They are especially important when driving in steep, hilly areas. Most people tend to let their handbrakes wear out with time instead of getting them serviced and replaced regularly. However, spotting these 5 symptoms of a failing handbrake at the right time may save both you and your car’s life.
The handbrake is too tight
If your handbrake feels tighter than usual it could be a sign of a wiring problem. A tight handbrake is more difficult to use in an emergency situation. Apart from that, a tight handbrake cable may not allow your car clearance if it hits a bump when braking. This could cause your tires to wear out faster than expected.
Handbrake is too loose
A wire that is out of alignment, stretched, or loose may also have the opposite effect of making your handbrake feel wobbly. This will make it difficult to lock it into position when braking.
“The hill test”
One way to check if your handbrake is working is to park your car on a slope using the parking brake. If the handbrake is working, your car should stay in place instead of rolling off. If your car begins to slide, this is a symptom of a failing handbrake.
No resistance when braking
Have you ever accidentally accelerated with your handbrake on? If you have you know the resistance this causes. While this is harmful to your car, it is a sign that your handbrake is functioning. As your car gets older, you may not feel any resistance at all if you leave the handbrake on. This is a commonly ignored symptom of a failing handbrake. Needless to say, if your handbrake is not causing any friction, you can not rely on it to stop in an emergency situation.
Handbrake doesn’t disengage when braking
If you feel a drag even after you have turned your handbrake, it means your handbrake hasn’t disengaged fully. This is because the cables have not pulled the brakes completely off the wheels. You may also hear a squeaking sound from your back wheels as you try to gain speed. This too is a sign of a failing handbrake. The handbrake generally wears out or becomes loose as the car gets older. But the good news is it be repaired and exchanged if needed.
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