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#1 10-07-08 18:38:02

jo
Member
Registered: 10-11-07
Posts: 27

Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Bought a second-hand Honda Jazz automatic last year to learn to drive in.  Whenever I've had to apply the handbrake I've always pressed in the button and held it in to apply the handbrake and pressed the button in again when I'm taking the handbrake off.  However, was just looking thru the handbook that came with the car (maybe I should have done that last year!) and it says 'to apply the parking brake, pull the lever up fully.  To release it, pull up slightly, push the button, and lower the lever'.  (It doesn't mention pressing in the button first when applying the handbrake).  I just tried doing it as per the handbook's instructions and it makes a ratching noise when I apply it in this manner. I don't know if it's supposed to make that noise.  Have I been damaging the car in any way by not doing what they suggest in the handbook?  Thanks for your help.

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10-07-08 18:38:02

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#2 10-07-08 19:02:50

neil8181
Verified Member
From: Accrington
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 645

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

The handbrake is worked on a ratchet system, but to save wear and tear, better to use the button.

To ensure handbrake fully on when using the button, I lift the later part of the working travel without the button, just so I can hear the handbrake is fully on.

regards


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#3 10-07-08 22:47:59

Lynne
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From: Essex
Registered: 05-03-04
Posts: 925

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I think the handbook on both my cars says use the ratchet.  I know it definitely does on my Pajero.  Horrible noise. No thanks.  Button in all the time.   big_smile

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#4 10-07-08 23:00:29

keith-adi
Verified Member
From: wirral
Registered: 19-07-06
Posts: 830
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

push the button, push push the button  big_smile


We can all drive! some of us don't know it yet!     Smart Start School of Motoring
lessons available Wirral wide.

http://www.smartstart-wirral.com

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#5 10-07-08 23:01:25

dog
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Registered: 29-10-06
Posts: 813

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I thought the Jazz had an electronic handbrake didn't it?

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#6 10-07-08 23:50:11

neil8181
Verified Member
From: Accrington
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 645

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

push the button, push push the button  big_smile

i'm with you on that one keith tongue


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#7 11-07-08 05:38:47

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Many car handbooks will actually say to not push the button in and there was some fuss recently with a Vectra ending up in a river or pond somewhere (which wouldn't have happened if the numpty had left the car in gear!)

I think it is easier to pull the handbrake up lightly higher without pushing the button in, I certainly notice learners lowering the handbrake slightly as they relax the pressure on the button and I find myself telling them that if the handbrake isn't on high enough then to just pull it higher without pressing the button (only about 1 extra click).

With regard to all the 'orrible ratchet noise, the Focus is quite subdued so it isn't as intrusive as some of the older cars (plastic rather than metal components?  Wear quicker?).

The simple answer is go with whatever than car handbook says.

Personally I will stick with pushing the button in (I had an old Renault 14 once and the ratchet became worn and I was unable to apply the handbrake at all) and always leave the car in gear.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#8 11-07-08 08:21:39

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

In this instance it makes little odds, but if in doubt go with the handbook.

As Nigel mentions, sometimes with the button pushed in you'll lower it slightly (without noticing) as you release the button, making the handbrake less effective, something which can cause real problems in a manual.

In the Jazz auto though you'll either have creep to help hold against a hill, or when you put it in park the vehicle will hold even if the handbrake is not on at all. The only time you may find trouble is if you put the handbrake on and choose Neutral (at red lights for example) as if the h-brake is not fully applied you may roll. The Jazz handbrake isn't the best in the world.

Dog - it would be much easier if there was an electronic park brake (fantastic invention) but no - it's a good old fashioned cable-onna-stick type.

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#9 11-07-08 11:06:01

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,696
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Tim all of the cars I've driven or trained in had handbrakes that weren't the best in the world.
No engine assistance, on 2 wheels not 4, and arm muscles instead of the more powerful leg muscles.

I was told to train to pull up with button in, then while still pulling up to give a "thumb salute" i.e. extend the thumb releasing the button.
Reasons: to not round-off the jagged edges of the ratchet (apparently it does happen but usually with old cars) which could result in handbrake failure; and to avoid the irritating noise.
To release: rest thumb on button, pull up, while still pulling up, curl thumb to depress button then push lever FULLY to floor. Glance at the instrument panel to check that the handbrake / parking brake warning light is extinguished.

If I have a student who has trouble applying the handbrake strongly enough I advise them to leave the button out otherwise they tend to let the lever drop back down before the button is released (what's more important, applying the handbrake strongly enough or avoiding handbrake wear & tear?)

I've had students with arm muscles so weak that they couldn't push the gearlever fully to the left to select 1st or 2nd once underway. No hope of getting the handbrake set strongly enough to be effective!


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#10 11-07-08 11:15:44

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Completely agree Zipper.

One of the reasons I really like the modern electronic parking brakes. No strength necessary and no cables to stretch.

Unfortunately the DSA won't accept them on test in manual cars here. (I've got a feeling that in auto's they're ok, maybe someone could confirm this for me?)

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#11 11-07-08 14:36:35

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I don't understand why the DSA don't like the electronic handbrake.  Whilst some cars also have the hill start assist associated with an electronic handbrake (I can understand why that is outlawed) I see nothing wrong with a standard electronic handbrake without hill start assist.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#12 11-07-08 18:03:45

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,303

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Hi
Re the problem of letting the handbrake drop slightly before releasing the button, I just tell them to give one or two clicks after releasing the button.
This minimizes the wear while still giving an audible notification that it is on properly.

I heard to-day of a plastic H/brake rachet which has needed replacing 7 times, even though they don't allow regular clicking.

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#13 11-07-08 20:05:26

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

It's no good asking us lot. We've all done part 3 an got the injection.   A lot of the course is about rational thinking verses DSA thinking.  Rational may be right but the DSA marks the paper. 

Some drivers aren't strong enough to to apply the handbrake whilst holding the button in.  It may ad some wear to the ratchet but it's better than rolling back down the hill.  A new ratchet will cost a few quid less than whatever you may roll into.


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

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#14 12-07-08 05:12:08

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I'm reasonably certain that it isn't marked either way.

Maybe someone can check the DT1, I think it is mentioned.

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#15 12-07-08 07:14:42

Shazzer
Member
From: Staffs
Registered: 27-01-08
Posts: 203

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I had the same issue, with instructor, button in pull up high and release button. Hubby, pull for two clicks on a flat no button or you stretch the cable (which he had to replace recently), and the ratchet is rounded on the ends anyway, that is what it is designed for etc. I do as he asks, as it's his car!!

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#16 12-07-08 10:27:26

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Pushing the burron in or not will make no difference on stetching the cable.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#17 12-07-08 11:19:43

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,303

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Hi

Pushing the burron in or not will make no difference on stetching the cable.
Nigel

Good point Nigel.
Cables do stretch over time and that as well as shoe/pad wear is what adjusters are for, though nowadays most cars have self adjusting shoes/pads.
On the otherhand a ratchet used properly should last the lifetime of a car.
There are some post war classic cars out there which have never had their H/brake mechanisms replaced regardless of high mileage.
As I have said before, the advice about clicking has been promulgated by manufacturers trying to sell more spares, particularly applicable now with the use of plastics which wear down so much more quickly.

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#18 13-07-08 08:25:46

Shazzer
Member
From: Staffs
Registered: 27-01-08
Posts: 203

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Pushing the burron in or not will make no difference on stetching the cable.

Nigel

I understand that Nigel, I think hubby means you can pull it up higher than necessary so advises to me two clicks. At the end of the day it's his car and he pays the repairs!

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#19 13-07-08 11:49:22

pegasus
Verified Member
From: north west
Registered: 25-02-05
Posts: 3,303

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Hi
Something that hasn't been raised here, unless I missed it.
It is a good idea to leave the car in gear on a gradient as well particularly if you car has a disc handbrake.
The discs are generally hot when you stop, as they cool down they shrink slightly so that the calipers are no longer gripping as tightly, this can then result in the car starting to roll.

In older cars with drum H/brakes the drum shrinkage grips the shoes harder when they cool down.

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#20 13-07-08 17:22:05

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

Too right.  A car with rear disks can easily be lost on a hill once the disks cool down.  Ford recommend holding the footbrake down whilst applying the handbrake so as to put an extra bit of pressure on the pads.

Yes use the gear too.


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

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#21 13-07-08 21:53:04

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,696
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I've always taught holding the foot brake down while applying the handbrake as a matter of course - as well as helping to "set" the brakes it helps to ensure the driver has the car properly restrained until the handbrake is fully on.
On very steep hills I teach to park uphill with the front wheels turned outwards, downhill with the front wheels turned inwards.

...As I have said before, the advice about clicking has been promulgated by manufacturers trying to sell more spares, particularly applicable now with the use of plastics which wear down so much more quickly.

I didn't know ratchets can be made of plastic these days, but I'm not surprised. I just bought a reasonable quality vacuum cleaner the other day, not a metal part in sight except for one latch.
I read somewhere that car manufacturers make an enormous amount from the spare parts.


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#22 14-07-08 09:01:43

timmanwaringadi
Verified Member
From: Devon
Registered: 29-08-06
Posts: 2,406
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

advises to me two clicks.

Just be very careful with proscribing numbers of clicks, or hoping that will work, as 2 clicks in jan 07 may be fine, but by jan 08 due to cable stretch your handbrake may be completely inneffective.

Some handbrakes work on the transmission and many are pretty blooming terrible, so yes - leave it in low gear.

I advise 1st whether uphill or down. It'll hold in either direction, but reverse can sometimes pop out of gear if it hasn't been engaged correctly.

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#23 14-07-08 12:43:31

Luchell
Verified Member
From: Salisbury
Registered: 12-06-07
Posts: 1,661

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

You read my mind then Tim. 2 clicks on mine at the moment would mean you might have a long walk to find where on earth the car has gone since you parked it  lol

Incidentally, my handbook says not to push the button in. I have to admit the noise drives me insane so i do push the button in or i really feel full of murderous intent  yikes yikes

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#24 28-09-08 09:58:57

Makem Drive
Verified Member
Registered: 27-06-08
Posts: 197

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

One work of warning on the subject.

As an ex car mechanic I have seen the state of many a pawl and/or ratchet after normal p-brake use over a few years and had to replace them (mostly the pawl). I have also seen the aftermath of an incident where a handbrake 'jumped' off & let the vehicle (a milk float so no gears) roll downhill. luckily the kids that played on the path at the bottom were in the house at the time. It had previously been reported but the mechanic that checked it replaced the pawl the first time without checking ratchet, second (3rd & 4th) time checked with the brake applied so failed to see it was only the tooth at the 'brake applied' position that was worn then tried to blame the driver for the accident even after he found the fault.

Does anyone remember the 'racing' p-brake fitted to some cars many years ago?

For normal drivers allowing the ratchet to click SHOULD not be a problem over it's expected life but in a vehicle that is used in a stop/start situation (delivery vans, learner cars etc) wear will take place

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#25 20-10-08 16:35:00

comedrivewithme
Verified Member
From: Treorchy, Rhondda, South Wales
Registered: 28-11-06
Posts: 674
Website

Re: Am I applying the handbrake incorrectly?

I read somewhere that car manufacturers make an enormous amount from the spare parts.

Not anymore they don't.  Your local car parts shop hardly sells new parts these days.

Spark plugs go on for 40,000 miles. Stainless steel exhausts that last forever.  Clutches which seem to last 100,000 miles.  Rear brake pads that last for 60,000 miles.

The parts shops seem to sell more polish and noisy exhausts than anything else these days.


Give yourself independenc, learn to drive!
www.Comedrivewithme.com
    Treorchy, Rhondda.

I see friends shaking hands, saying
"how do you do". 
They're really saying
"I love you" (Louie Armstrong)

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