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Old 27-01-2017   #31
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Hi Charlie, thanks for your post.

I'm afraid to go back to a bigger chain after one tried to scam me into paying hundreds that I'd rather pay to change the car, plus they always try to change everything before trying to fix it. The thing is that everyone tells me something different, so I have no idea who to believe. Will go to see what they'll say on Monday, as it's their fault and I have receipts and everything, so I can insist on them repairing it at their expense.

I live in north Reading, but should I have any more problems, I can consider coming around Streatley next week at some point, depending on my work schedule.

Thanks!

Edit: I just tested my footbrake, it requires more effort to make it stop, so seems like something is really out of balance.
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Last edited by cherrycrush; 27-01-2017 at 14:46.
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Old 27-01-2017   #32
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Quote Originally Posted by cherrycrush View Post
Hi again, here is an update of my situation, it started sounding like a joke already

So after the adjustment, it again failed the MOT, so I was told they really need to change the shoes. Managed to get a reasonable price for that (I even paid less for it than we initially agreed, which was a surprise), and afterwards I got my MOT certificate yesterday.

BUT I have an even bigger problem now. Yesterday it made me an impression that it makes some noise when I get in/out of the car and it was stopped on slight slope. Today, I went to test it on a bigger hill, to realize that they've made it worse, as it doesn't hold at all and it slides down. I have no problems in front of my house, as it's even here, but it started preoccupying me a lot. So I booked it in first thing on Monday morning, as the guy who did the work was off today - does anyone know what they may have fitted wrongly? When it failed it was doing 5 clicks, it used to do 4 clicks and to be heavier after their adjustment, now they're 6, but it takes a lot less effort to pull it up than before any adjustment.

I can't really tell whether the footbrake feels different, probably it doesn't or at least not too much to make me an impression. Is that a good or a bad sign?
I know you said he was a bit far but i'd take it to @burrowsdeano and get it sorted properly or failing that take it back to the place who did the brakes/MOT and tell them it doesn't hold when parked on a hill with the handbrake on. If it's 'passed' an MOT then it should do that no problem at all.
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Old 27-01-2017   #33
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Quote Originally Posted by cherrycrush View Post
Hi again, here is an update of my situation, it started sounding like a joke already

So after the adjustment, it again failed the MOT, so I was told they really need to change the shoes. Managed to get a reasonable price for that (I even paid less for it than we initially agreed, which was a surprise), and afterwards I got my MOT certificate yesterday.

BUT I have an even bigger problem now. Yesterday it made me an impression that it makes some noise when I get in/out of the car and it was stopped on slight slope. Today, I went to test it on a bigger hill, to realize that they've made it worse, as it doesn't hold at all and it slides down. I have no problems in front of my house, as it's even here, but it started preoccupying me a lot. So I booked it in first thing on Monday morning, as the guy who did the work was off today - does anyone know what they may have fitted wrongly? When it failed it was doing 5 clicks, it used to do 4 clicks and to be heavier after their adjustment, now they're 6, but it takes a lot less effort to pull it up than before any adjustment.

I can't really tell whether the footbrake feels different, probably it doesn't or at least not too much to make me an impression. Is that a good or a bad sign?
Sorry to hear that Cherrycrush! I have to say, you have every right to be disappointed in the service you have received. The Punto braking system is nothing special or weird. A competent mechanic ought to be able to get it to hold better than it sounds like it is doing. They wouldn't have to be a Fiat specialist. Can you ask around your car-owning friends for recommendations of a good independent mechanic? Word-of-mouth is by far the best advertising. Here's what I think MIGHT have happened...

As the brake shoes work, they rub against the insude of a cast iron "bowl" (the brake drum). Over the years, the shoes wear down (which they are supposed to) but they also wear the cast iron down (which is why they need to be adjusted periodically). Eventually, the friction material on the brake shoes will have rubbed off altogether, at which point they need changing.

When someone fits a new set of shoes (two on each side of the car) they will have to rub against the inside of the brake drum that has already been worn by the old shoes. The drum is unlikely to have worn perfectly evenly, so when the shoes are first fitted, they feel nice and tight but in the first few miles they wear very quickly until they have "bedded themselves" into the shape of the inside of the brake drum. This MIGHT be reason they worked well enough to pass the MOT but quickly became useless again.

That's giving the garage the benefit of the doubt. Either way, the "bottom line" is that you gave them money to make your handbrake work, and it doesn't. There's nothing at all to stop you going back to them and telling them the handbrake is worse now, if anything, than it was before they fixed it. With luck, they should be able to re-adjust the shoes (at no cost to you) and get it working a bit better for you. There are, of course, other things that could be wrong, but I think this is a good place to start. In the meantime, try to get a recommendation for another garage for next time, in case this lot fail to sort it out again.

The reason I asked about the footbrake, is that if it felt no different, that would suggest that the adjustment had been done on the handbrake cable (which is wrong). If they had been done correctly, the brake pedal shouldn't have moved down as far when you braked, (because the correctly-adjusted new shoes would have been closer to the surface of the brake drum than the old worn out ones, so your foot wouldn't have had to push them as far before they started rubbing against the surface of the drum). Note, that this is about how "FAR" you have to press the pedal though, not how "hard" you have to press it.
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Old 28-01-2017   #34
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

I had my handbrake, pads and discs done when mine failed the mot this month for 125 including the MOT price as well. This was on my 56 plate grande active. Hope this helps!
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Old 28-01-2017   #35
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Quote Originally Posted by Avocet View Post
Sorry to hear that Cherrycrush! I have to say, you have every right to be disappointed in the service you have received. The Punto braking system is nothing special or weird. A competent mechanic ought to be able to get it to hold better than it sounds like it is doing.

The reason I asked about the footbrake, is that if it felt no different, that would suggest that the adjustment had been done on the handbrake cable (which is wrong). If they had been done correctly, the brake pedal shouldn't have moved down as far when you braked, (because the correctly-adjusted new shoes would have been closer to the surface of the brake drum than the old worn out ones, so your foot wouldn't have had to push them as far before they started rubbing against the surface of the drum). Note, that this is about how "FAR" you have to press the pedal though, not how "hard" you have to press it.


still shouldn't be "rolling away" though..
to me - that means 1 side is giving little braking effort,
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Old 28-01-2017   #36
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Hi .You have paid good money to get this problem sorted,so it's up to the garage to put it right.I could say more as I get really uptight at the way these places treat us.Many years ago after having new brake shoes fitted and the hand brake not holding ,by pressing quite hard on the foot brake a number of times causes the ratchet on the handbrake adjuster to go onto the next tooth thus tightening the handbrake.Whether this will work on more modern cars I do not know.If not,back to the garage
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Last edited by ArthurM; 28-01-2017 at 22:44. Reason: Extra thought
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Old 29-01-2017   #37
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Quote Originally Posted by ArthurM View Post
Hi .You have paid good money to get this problem sorted,so it's up to the garage to put it right.I could say more as I get really uptight at the way these places treat us.Many years ago after having new brake shoes fitted and the hand brake not holding ,by pressing quite hard on the foot brake a number of times causes the ratchet on the handbrake adjuster to go onto the next tooth thus tightening the handbrake.Whether this will work on more modern cars I do not know.If not,back to the garage
It's a good tip, and it SHOULD work on Cherry's car, but Grande Punto auto adjusters seem to be very prone to seizing up. At that age, I doubt hers would still be working and they seem quite expensive to replace. I think the parts were 50-odd each last time I looked for some, so I just do them manually (which is OK as long as there is no lip on the brake drums).
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Old 29-01-2017   #38
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Indeed, the adjusters are more often than not overlooked/ignored. As pointed out they have to be freely ratcheting for the system to function as it should. Build up of brake dust & heat take their toll. I have a diesel hack & clean & inspect the rear drums twice a year. Cleaning & lubing the adjusters can be fine tuning, too much lubrication can attract debris & clog things up, too little & it dries up. What I use is white lithium grease. It's not the first time I've taken apart the adjusters, cleaned,lubed & put back. Time consuming but worth it.

Face facts I'm afraid, on older cars maintenance has to be done. I fear things only get looked at when they cease to work properly. Poor/lack of maintenance is the key factor generally speaking. Not having a go here, only pointing out the usual culprit.
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Old 29-01-2017   #39
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Hi your not wrong jimboy. I tend to use copper grease for most things, used in moderation it tends not to attract too much crud. I buy it in 500g tubs which cost very little more than the small tubes from motor factors.
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Old 29-01-2017   #40
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

@ Avocet, there is a way to adjust the thingy, even with lipped drums: mount it loose (to pass the lip) and you can still rotate the little sproket with a flat screwdriver thru one of the wheel bolt hole. Not really obvious but with little patience it works !

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Old 29-01-2017   #41
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

For the rear brake system to work properly & last, the ratchets (thingy) have to be free. Adjusting by the screw driver method will only delay things for a short period. The lithium white grease dries to a film & doesn't attract to much dust. Maintenance is the key.
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Old 29-01-2017   #42
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Quote Originally Posted by Bernievarian View Post
@ Avocet, there is a way to adjust the thingy, even with lipped drums: mount it loose (to pass the lip) and you can still rotate the little sproket with a flat screwdriver thru one of the wheel bolt hole. Not really obvious but with little patience it works !

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Ah thanks Berine! I didn't know that! I shall try it next time. Part of the problem is that I can never remember which way to turn the little adjuster wheel on each side of the car unless I can see what it's doing!
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Old 29-01-2017   #43
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

@ Jimboy, of course the ratchets need to be maintained, I was just meaning that one can still adjust them AFTER lippy drum assembly ...

@ Avocet, had the same dilema each time, now I take a pictue of it before putting the drum back on ;-)

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Old 29-01-2017   #44
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

If you don't have a lathe or access to one use a small grinder to tale off the lip, it's one thing fitting shoes to a drum with lips but a totally different job to get them off if the adjuster is working.
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Old 30-01-2017   #45
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Re: MOT Failure - Parking brake problem

Excellent point Digger, noted in my to-do-next-time-it-happens list !

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