How To Adjust Parking Brake: Simple and Effective Steps

Learning how to adjust parking brake, which is often referred to as the emergency brake, is crucial since it’s a vital part of your car’s braking system. Your automobile may even roll away while parked on a hill as a result of the parking brake becoming loose over time from wear and tear. Adjust Parking Brake For this reason, will walk you through the process of adjusting the parking brake step-by-step in this post.

How To Adjust Your Car’s Parking Brake?

To adjust your car’s parking brake, you need to follow a procedure that starts with gathering the necessary tools, lifting your vehicle, relaxing the parking brake cables, adjusting the parking brake shoes, adjusting the parking brake cables, and finally testing the parking brake.

1. Gather the Necessary Tools

Having all the required tools on hand is vital before beginning the parking brake adjustment operation. Car jacks, jack stands, wrenches, and screwdrivers are the main equipment needed to adjust the parking brake. In order to raise the vehicle’s back end off the ground, a car jack is required. To support the automobile securely after it has been raised, utilize jack stands. A screwdriver may be used to adjust the brake shoes, but a tool is required to release and tighten the adjustment nut on the parking brake wire. The jack and jack stands must be rated to support the weight of the car if you want to avoid any problems. The car might topple if you employ a weak jack or jack stands, which could result in critical injuries or even death. The adjustable nut’s size should match that of the tool being used to adjust the parking disc brakes. The nut may be damaged if the wrong size wrench is used, making it difficult or impossible to correctly set the parking brake. This is similar to how the screwdriver used to tighten the brake shoes must perfectly match the screw head to prevent stripping. It’s a good idea to have a brake adjustment tool on hand in addition to the basic equipment. The operation is sped up and simplified with the aid of this special tool for changing brake shoes. Although not required, it can ultimately save time and effort.

2. Lift Your Vehicle

It is essential to raise the car off the ground in order to reach and properly adjust the parking brake system. Make sure your car is parked on a level surface and that the parking brake is released before lifting it. To stop the automobile from rolling, it’s also crucial to engage the gear for manual transmission or the park gear for automatic transmission. Vehicle Lifting Process Place the jack in the advised jacking positions to raise the car. The owner’s handbook or a label on the bottom of the car’s frame will list the suggested jacking positions. The jack should be set up such that it can safely elevate the vehicle’s rear end. Pump the handle to elevate the car once the jack is in position. The car should be raised high enough to access the parking brake mechanism and provide workers enough room to move about comfortably. Place jack stands in a secure location to support the automobile when it has been raised. It’s crucial to check that the jack stands are securely supporting the car. Lightly shake the car to make sure it is sturdy and won’t fall over. Additionally advised is the use of wheel chocks to stop the car from rolling.

3. Relax the Parking Brake Cables

You may precisely adjust the brake shoes by loosening the connections. Find the pedal or lever inside the vehicle and release the parking brake wires. Pull the parking brake pedal or lever with the assistance of a helper, then watch the brake wires under the car as they move. Parking Brake Wires When the parking brake is engaged, the cables will be tight; when it is freed, the cables will be loose. With a wrench, remove the adjustment nut from the parking brake cable. This will relax the cable. Usually, the adjustment nut is situated next to the parking brake pedal or lever. When the wires are slack, loosen the nut. To avoid harming the cable, the nut must be progressively loosened. Once the wires are loose, let off of the parking brake pedal or lever while making sure the cables stay that way. Make sure the left and right cables are equally loosened by checking each of them. Make the necessary adjustments until both cables are loose if one cable is tighter than the other. The parking brake wires must not be too slack, which is also crucial. A safety danger may result from the parking brake failing to engage properly if the wires are excessively slack. Therefore, it’s crucial to strike a balance between leaving the cables loose and making sure the parking brake engages properly.

4. Adjust the Parking Brake Shoes

The parking brake is activated by the parking brake shoes, which also prevent the car from moving when it is parked. Find the brake drum and adjust the parking brake shoes there. Usually found behind the back wheel, the brake drum is secured in place by many nuts.
To reveal the parking brake shoes, unscrew the bolts and remove the brake drum away from the wheel. The parking brake shoes should be examined for any evidence of wear or damage. Before adjusting the parking brake, the shoes must be replaced if they are worn. Parking Brake Shoes Adjusting the parking brake pad may be done if the shoes are in excellent shape. Near the top of the brake shoe assembly is normally where you’ll find the adjustment screw. Turn the adjustment screw with a brake spoon or screwdriver until the shoes barely contact the brake drum. Back off the adjustment screw once the shoes have made contact with the braking drum until the drum can freely revolve. A smooth rotation of the brake drum and no dragging of the shoes against the drum are essential. To make sure that all sides of the car are adjusted similarly, repeat the procedure on the opposite side. Replace the brake drum and fasten it with the bolts once both sides have been adjusted.

5. Adjust the Parking Brake Cables

To adjust the parking brake wires, spin the adjustment nut to increase or reduce the tension in the cables. twisting the nut clockwise increases tension, whereas twisting it counterclockwise decreases tension. Check the pedal or lever to ensure that it engages and disengages smoothly when you change the tension in the wires. You want to make sure that there is enough strain in the wires to successfully activate the parking brake, but not so much that the pedal or lever is difficult to use. To hold the cables in place once the necessary tension has been attained, tighten the lock nut on the adjustment nut. To make sure it engages and disengages smoothly and properly, test the parking brake several times. You may need to check the parking brake wires for any signs of heavy damage or wear if you discover that the pedal or lever is still challenging to use. Before adjusting the parking brake, damaged or worn wires must be replaced.

6. Test the Parking Brake

It’s important to test the parking brake to make sure it’s working properly once you’ve finished adjusting the parking brake shoes and wires. A vital step in making sure your car is safe to drive is testing the parking brake. Ensure that the car is on a level surface and that the gearbox is neutral before you try the parking brake. Testing the Parking Brake Depending on the style of the parking brake in your car, engage it by pulling the lever or depressing the pedal. Apply little pressure on the accelerator pedal to try to drive the car. The car shouldn’t move if the parking brake is properly set. The parking brake ought should activate and keep the car in position. The parking brake has to be adjusted more if the car moves. Adjustments should be made after going through the procedures for adjusting the parking brake shoes and wires.

Can I Use Brake Cleaner Without Removing the Tire to Adjust the Parking Brake?

Using brake cleaner correctly is essential for maintaining your vehicle’s parking brake. However, when it comes to adjusting the parking brake, removing the tire is the recommended method. This allows you to access the necessary components and make precise adjustments. Remember, proper maintenance ensures your parking brake functions optimally, ensuring safety on the road.


You can make sure that your parking brake is in good working order and will securely hold your car in place when parked by following this how to adjust parking brake guide. Summing up the key concepts we’ve covered:
  • Your car’s safety depends on performing regular maintenance, including parking brake adjustments.
  • Make sure the parking brake shoes are set up evenly and aren’t tightened too much.
  • After making the necessary adjustments, test the parking brake by attempting to move the car while it is engaged and by doing so while you are driving.
  • The parking brake will continue to operate effectively and safely if it receives regular maintenance and inspection.
In conclusion, setting the parking brake is a crucial maintenance job that shouldn’t be skipped. When working on the brake system of your automobile, never forget to exercise caution and pay attention to the directions.
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