Technical handbrake not holding

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Technical handbrake not holding


New member
Aug 11, 2007
I've just bought a 2000 Multipla and everything seems fine, except that the handbrake does not hold the car on steep surfaces. When I engage it in gear, it works OK, but if it is not in gear, the car slips.

Took it to the garage this morning, they told me that it could be because the car has been stationary for a long while (in the dealer's forecourt). The mechanic suggested I wait for a week to see if it improves. I'm inclined to trust him as he asked no money at all. He checked how the car moves in reverse gear with the handbrake on (the car lifted somewhat at the back but there was no actual reverse movement). He did not check cables as far as I could tell (I'm somewhat simple minded when it comes to cars...). Also note that I don't live in the UK and was dealing with a mechanic whose first language (Hungarian) I don't speak too well... If someone could tell me the thinking behind the mechanic's advice and whether it makes sense, I would be very grateful. thanks!
Welcome to the forum:)
Its possible for rear brakes to seize and drums to rust after being stood for a while.
This should be fine though after a few heavy applications of the *footbrake*
Sounds like it may needs the drums stripping down though, nothing can beat a visual inspection of the linings, drums, wheel cylinders and cables.

If you dont know much about cars, I would take it somewhere you can watch the mechanic do the work. It sounds complex, but its so simple you would probably want to do it yourself in the unlikely event future work was needed.

Give it a few emergency stops on the footbrake, make sure the handbrake is not coming to the top of its travel.

Its urgent to get it sorted as its possible the rear brakes are not functioning properly when using the footbrake.

I just had a handbrake problem with my Multipla; for no apparent reason the lever suddenly developed way too much travel. I took it to the garage (was having a new cam belt fitted) and they found that the two automatic adjusters on the rear drums had both failed; in each case the end of a small spring loaded clip had broken, allowing the adjuster to wind DOWN rather than up. Two solutions were offered; a pair of new adjusters at approx £60, or judicious use of a pair of snipe nosed pliers to modify the shape of the spring plus clip to keep it in place. Modification seems to have worked; if it fails I'll be no worse off than I was; just £60 out of pocket for a pair of adjusters. The annoying thing is that the leaf spring is very easy to replace, but it's unavailable; you have to buy a complete adjuster:yuck: