Handbrake repair

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How does the handbrake work?

The handbrake, also known as the parking brake or emergency brake, makes sure to keep the car fully stopped when parked, preventing your car from rolling away on an uneven surface. To engage the handbrake, the driver pulls the lever up until it cannot go any higher. When releasing it, the driver must press the button located a the end of the lever before lowering it. The handbrake itself is located between the driver's and the passenger seat.

The handbrake works thanks to a cable which, when the lever is pulled up, will divide itself into two parts in order to activate the braking system on the rear wheels on most of the cars, and therefore blocking the wheels.

When the handbrake is engaged, the handbrake warning light will turn on. It is represented by an exclamation mark, or by the letter P, surrounded by two parentheses in the dashboard.

However, if the handbrake warning light is permanently on, this might indicate a dysfunction: the handbrake may be damaged, the handbrake cable may be broken, or a wire in the harness may be exposed.

Electronic handbrake

The manual handbrake with a handle is slowly starting to disappear, and more and more cars are equipped with electronic parking brakes.

To engage an electronic handbrake, the carowner presses a button located on the dashboard. Then, the electronic handbrake works the same way as a mechanical handbrake. The only difference between a mechanical and electronic handbrake is only the activation of the mechanism: The manual action when pulling the lever to activate the handbrake is now automated.

Benefits of the electronic parking brake

The main benefit of the electronic parking brake is the absence of some mechanical parts, reducing the wear and maintenance. Moreover, the electronic handbrake is connected to the car's computer, which make it easier to diagnose any kind of failures.

Another benefit is that the electronic handbrake gets engaged and disengaged automatically. For instance, when approaching a hill start, the handbrake will get activated automatically, and the brakes will be released upon restart.

Electronic handbrake failure

Having more and more electronic components in cars increases the risk of failures. It is, therefore, necessary to perform electronic diagnostics at a garage in case of breakdown. For example, the handbrake can get stuck in case of low battery, or because of problems with the power supply.

Electronic handbrake repairs are way more expensive than mechanical handbrakes repairs: It is important to get a check at the slightest malfunction before the handbrake has a failure.

Handbrake adjustment

Handbrake adjustment is important when you want to avoid uneven brake wear. As the handbrake is essential for your safety, it is advised that the adjustment is carried out by a mechanic who will perform the adjustment underneath the car. It can also be done from the inside of the car: In that case, it will be necessary to dismantle the centre console of the car.

This job is usually cheap and quick and should cost just a few dozen pounds, depending on the garage's hourly rate.

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Price on a brake repair

On autobutler.co.uk, we believe in transparency and fair prices. Below you can see the average prices for different car brands and how much you can save on comparing offers.

Make Avg. price Min - max
Audi £ 274 £ 154 - £ 440 Get quotes
Citroën £ 260 £ 132 - £ 475 Get quotes
Ford £ 197 £ 122 - £ 319 Get quotes
Honda £ 189 £ 114 - £ 303 Get quotes
Nissan £ 208 £ 124 - £ 342 Get quotes
Peugeot £ 210 £ 111 - £ 395 Get quotes
Renault £ 224 £ 106 - £ 418 Get quotes
Toyota £ 238 £ 140 - £ 380 Get quotes
Vauxhall £ 220 £ 123 - £ 351 Get quotes
Volkswagen £ 201 £ 117 - £ 332 Get quotes

The prices are based on all quotes sent via autobutler.co.uk, and may contain errors or vary. Please create a job if you would like detailed quotes for your car.

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Great they fixed my car and we had courtesy car lovely friendly staff, worth going the extra mile...
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Audi A5 (2007)
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Nissan Pathfinder (2007)
Fab garage, lovely staff, incredibly quick!
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Citroën C4 Cactus (2016)

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