Handbrake use, maintenance tips and the cost of handbrake repair

If you drive a car, you don’t need me to tell you what a handbrake does.

However, you might find it interesting to understand how it works. It could give you a much better idea of what might be happening when it starts to fail and what’s entailed in its repair. We’ll give you some guide prices to repairs and inspections, plus, how much to replace a handbrake cable.

How does your handbrake work?

Your handbrake utilises the same brake system as your brake pedal. The lever pulls a metal cable attached to the brake shoes; they lock against the discs, preventing your car from moving.

Your handbrake will often be referred to as your parking brake, or occasionally, the emergency brake. This name originated from when the handbrake was considered an emergency option for times a failure occurred in the main braking system. For its best chances of stopping a runaway car, the handbrake applied the brakes in the rear wheels, which would be more effective in reducing the speed of the car than if the brakes were activated in the front wheels.

The handbrake cable can also be called a parking brake cable.

Obvious signs of a failing handbrake

The car still moves

The most obvious sign that your handbrake is failing is that your car still moves when the vehicle is parked, and the brake applied.

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

Check your warning lights

If your car features an appropriate indicator or dashboard warning light, this will illuminate when the relevant sensor has detected a fault.

A sticking handbrake

Another key symptom is when your handbrake becomes stuck in place, and won’t release.

If and when any of these problems occur, it’s time to have the fault properly diagnosed and corrected.

Handbrake repair cost

If you’re having handbrake trouble the most likely area you’ll be interested in is the handbrake cable replacement cost.

From a franchise or dealer, you can expect to pay anything from £70 or £80 to around £150 depending on the make and model of your car. Sports cars and luxury marques could cost considerably more.

Fixter consistently beats franchise and dealership prices by up to 30%. That offers you savings of between £20 and £45. And don’t forget, we collect and deliver every car we fix—saving you further time and worry and leaving you free to get on with all the things you’d rather be doing.

When you need to replace your handbrake cable and when it might on