Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
Morning all,

The car is running fine except for a slight handbrake problem. The handbrake won't hold the car on anything but the gentlest gradient and even then I don't trust it. It's not as bad when parked as I always have and always will leave it in gear but I negotiate a lot of traffic lights on hills and I hate leaving the brakes on.

In my old Fiesta I simply pulled the handbrake sleeve up and tightened a little nut but I'm sure you don't do that here.

Does anyone have any ideas? One other note to consider is sometimes, if I stop and keep my foot on the brake then pull the handbrake up, the brake pedal will go in a touch more without any extra pressure? Is that related in some way?

Many thanks as always,
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - L'escargot
If it was me (which, of course, it isn't) and I had brake trouble, I would make an appointment for the problem to be sorted by my nearest Ford dealer. And I wouldn't use the car again until I was ready to attend that appointment. Diy is all very well if you know what you are doing.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - RichardW
Adam,

Have you noticed an increase in the brake pedal travel? Sounds likely that one (or both) of the auto adjusters in the rear brakes has packed up, or one of the cables has snapped, or you have blown a rear cylinder and covered the linings in brake fluid or, or, or....

You get the picture! Time to get it to the garage pronto as the drums need to come off to have a look and see what's going on.
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - L'escargot
<< One other note to consider is sometimes, if I stop and keep << my foot on the brake then pull the handbrake up, the brake << pedal will go in a touch more without any extra pressure? Is << that related in some way?


I've tried this on my 2 litre and (as I expected) there was no discernible extra movement on the brake pedal. (I say "discernible" just in case my foot isn't as sensitive as yours). My car has rear discs, so it is not an identical system.

It occurred to me, however, that if you get extra movement on the pedal when you pull up the handbrake lever it suggests that the footbrake hasn't made the rear brake linings fully touch the drums in the first place ~ and that can't be good for normal braking. I think that there may be more than one thing wrong with your brakes. Pressing the brake pedal doesn't appear to operate the rear brakes as one might expect, and the handbrake isn't very effective either.

Sorry, but without wishing to be a Job's Comforter, I stand by what I said in my earlier post.
--
L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - holly1
Got a similar problem with my X reg Corsa, - which incidently I purchased used from a main Ford Dealer, who could not diagnose the fault with the brakes even after repeat visits!!!

A nightmare on even the slightest incline. Now got to foot a £90 bill to get the cables replaced :(
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
Thanks for all the replies folks. Sorry I haven't been on sooner - I was actually busy at Uni! Who would have thought it!

Anyway, I've told Dad, and he's going to take it into a garage (non-Ford - I value my car!) at the weekend to sort it out. Of course I'll keep you all informed as to what the problem is.

Many thanks again,
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
Should also point out, I haven't noticed an increase in brake travel and I actually locked the wheels the other day so the front brakes are up to scratch - doesnt' mean the back ones are.

Cheers,

--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - mjm
Locked the wheels? Adski I' m ashamed of you. Right hooligan, ripping seats, locking wheels, breaking the handbrake, whatever next!
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - David Horn
A girl in an ancient Golf nearly slid into the back of my car today as I slowed down for a speed bump. I heard the sliding noise and saw her heading my way in the mirror and floored it. We missed but we ended up parking near her.

Tyres were almost completely bald, so it's not surprising she skidded on a wet road.
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
mjm - You must know me - I AM a hooligan! :-)

To be fair, it had rained after a dry period and a car in front slammed on to let someone out of a junction. I fortunately remembered to ease off and brake more gently but I can't explain away the ripped seat...or breaking the handbrake for that matter!

Jesse - lucky escape eh? At least you were being observant.

P.S. - Car's booked in for Monday.
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
UPDATE

I had to cancel the appointment and put it to today. Just got back now and the car's fine. It was just the handbrake that needed adjusting fortunately.

Many thanks for everyone's help - much appreciated as always.

cheers,
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - RichardW
Hmm, call me the doom monger but....
The handbrake mechanism should be self adjusting, which either means the adjusters have stopped working, or a cable has stretched and is on its way out. Could be wrong, but monitor the situation, I suspect you will be taking it back in a few k miles for the same fault....
--
RichardW

Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Civic8
The handbrake cable should be manualy adjustable. to allow for stretch..mechanism you are talking about is to self adjust the shoes. ie do not need/or shouldnt need manual adjustment..Though they do sometimes
--
Steve
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
All I know Steve, is they said it was the handbrake, I went back picked the car up and one notch on the handbrake puts it on fine.

Thanks again for all your help though.
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Civic8
Sorry Adam.That was meant for the post before.Something went wrong..Glad you got it sorted though!
--
Steve
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
I completely missed Richard's post myself! But seeing as he's doom mongering, I'll overlook it again! :-)

For the time being, the car's being held on the drive. If it goes funny, we'll know something more sinister is wrong.

I'm hoping it will be fine!

Again, I don't know where I'd be without all your help....yes I do - I'd have rolled back into the house across the road!

Cheers
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - L'escargot
To be fair, it had rained after a dry period and
a car in front slammed on to let someone out of
a junction.



TO BE FAIR? Probably what you really mean is that, as a youth, you have not yet sufficiently developed the required levels of experience, anticipation, and wisdom. It's a stage we all went through. Never mind, if you work at it, it will all come to you! But you DO have to work at it though. As you get older, the "incident" rate should decrease.
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L\'escargot by name, but not by nature.
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
I agree with you L'escargot. I can't really do much about someone stopping dead to let someone out of a junction though. Well - I could - I could have anticipated the moron doing something like that and kept my distance. I could have not panicked and slammed on.

I'm young and that probably means...well - it does mean that 99.9% of the BR have more experience than me.
--
Adam
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Chas{P}
Adam, I posted this back in January 03 from a Ford technical article I compiled:


This info applies to Fiesta 96-, Ka & Focus

Handbrake adjustment

Whilst on the subject of brakes, it appears that some technicians are not following the correct handbrake adjustment procedure for these models and instead use the 'three clicks is correct' rule. This leads to the customer returning a month later because handbrake travel has changed to six clicks as the over adjustment has worn away. If the rear brake self-adjuster and the handbrake have been correctly set the handbrake travel should remain between five and seven clicks.

The handbrake should be adjusted using the following procedure that must only be carried out when the rear brakes are cool.

Having removed the boot around the handbrake the brake should be released to its lowest position.

The adjusting nut should then be loosened until there is not tension in the cable. After applying and releasing the brake pedal to ensure the brakes are correctly adjusted the vehicle should be raised. Examine the cable and conduit to ensure it is correctly located in its clips. Raise the handbrake by four clicks. Tighten the cable-adjusting nut until an increase in torque is noticed. Apply and release the handbrake lever several times with enough force to settle the handbrake system. Release the handbrake to its lowest position.

Check the movement of the plunger in the left and right-hand side backing plates. The total movement of both sides added together should be between 1mm and 8mm.

(On vehicles with rear disc brakes the total movement between the left- and right-hand side caliper handbrake lever and the stop added together should be 0.5mm and 2mm.)

If necessary adjust the cable using the parking brake adjustment nut. If this does not affect the plunger movement, (caliper handbrake lever movement on vehicles with rear disc brakes) the cable is either damaged, binding or seized in which case a new cable and conduit must be installed.

Rotate the rear wheels to ensure there is no brake drag. Install the handbrake adjustment nut retaining clip. When the nut is correctly positioned install the retaining clip and refit the handbrake boot.


HTH


Charles
Handbrake? What handbrake? Ford Focus - Adam {P}
Thanks Charles - very useful information to have.

I've saved that into a Word document should I ever need it in a hurry.

Thanks again - much appreciated.
--
Adam
 

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