X250 weak handbrake. (1 Viewer)

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Mar 24, 2010
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Just had MOT (2007 LWB Relay ) though it passed it stated"inefficient parking brake".Now I have tried to improve it by new disc/drums/linings etc d but not a lot of improvement! Is this a week point on these vans?
 
Aug 27, 2014
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Can't comment specifically on the X250, but on my X244 I found the handbrake was vastly improved by religiously following the adjustment instructions from Fiat - don't assume a garage will do this job properly! In my case a crucial adjuster was above the waste water tank, rather than drop the tank (a 10 minute job :rolleyes:) more than one dealer had just cranked up another adjuster at the front of the van, which took up the slack but meant the handbrake didn't work as well as it should.

Like you, I'd changed the "top hat" drums/discs on the back, put new shoes in the handbrake and cleaned all the mechanism up, as well as changing the cable that runs between the brakes - all parts of the linkage back to the handbrake cleaned & lubricated - and it now works very well, but the design means it still needs a firm pull on the lever & there is still a certain amount of movement in the van after the handbrake lever is pulled on.
 
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DBK

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They are always marginal from what I've heard and experienced and particularly bad if you have the hill start extra because this means the handbrake is only ever used when the vehicle is stationary. My garage suggested every now and again when you are driving along slowly to apply the handbrake gently a few times to help it bed in and remove any glaze or rust. I have read you need to do this carefully as it is possible to damage the brakes but I've not experienced any problems doing it.
 
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TheBig1

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as above they need adjusting correctly, not just tension the cable
 
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If it passed then the handbrake wasn't inefficient according to MOT regs so why would they put that presumably as an advisory.

I have a 2011 model and the handbrake is not the best, have to pull it on hard and always leave it in gear on a slope.

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TerryL

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On my last MoT and service, although it passed there was an advisory about the handbrake being inefficient. On taking the wheels off (Dave always does that) to check apparently the disc pads fell to bits and all had to be replaced - basically due to the rear brakes hardly ever having to work! DBK's suggestion helps to "work" the rear brakes and break up the glaze that unused brake pads build up.
 

Deneb

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On my last MoT and service, although it passed there was an advisory about the handbrake being inefficient. On taking the wheels off (Dave always does that) to check apparently the disc pads fell to bits and all had to be replaced - basically due to the rear brakes hardly ever having to work! DBK's suggestion helps to "work" the rear brakes and break up the glaze that unused brake pads build up.

The parking brake is completely separate to the disc brakes and is a top hat drum brake system with cable operated shoes in the central drum of the rear brake discs, at least on a panel van.

Correct adjustment is critical and adjustments have to be made in the correct sequence starting with shoe clearance at the drums and following through from the rear to front cable adjustment points.

Lazy mechanics who only adjust the cable tension is where it all starts to go wrong and result in poor performance. Properly set up they should be more than capable.

Occasionally lightly applying the handbrake whilst moving very slowly will help to clean off any dust or light corrosion in the drums, but there shouldn't really be any appreciable wear because, apart from the roller test for the MOT the brake should only be set when the vehicle is stationary in normal use.
 

Nasher

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File attached on handbrake adjustment
 

Attachments

  • Handbrake adjustment.pdf
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Aug 27, 2014
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The parking brake is completely separate to the disc brakes and is a top hat drum brake system with cable operated shoes in the central drum of the rear brake discs, at least on a panel van.

Correct adjustment is critical and adjustments have to be made in the correct sequence starting with shoe clearance at the drums and following through from the rear to front cable adjustment points.

Lazy mechanics who only adjust the cable tension is where it all starts to go wrong and result in poor performance. Properly set up they should be more than capable.

Occasionally lightly applying the handbrake whilst moving very slowly will help to clean off any dust or light corrosion in the drums, but there shouldn't really be any appreciable wear because, apart from the roller test for the MOT the brake should only be set when the vehicle is stationary in normal use.

Spot on, following the Fiat (or in this case Citroen) instructions is crucial, only thing I'd add is everything has to be clean and (where appropriate) well lubricated throughout. I changed the cable that joins the 2 drums as part of the overhaul, as mine was looking a bit past it's best - the new one moving more freely in it's outer - it was only a tenner.

Nothing wrong with the garage giving it as an advisory, a handbrake can be good enough to pass the MOT but not as good as it was originally - the advisory enables it to be sorted before it deteriorates further and becomes a failure.
 

pappajohn

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If it passed then the handbrake wasn't inefficient according to MOT regs so why would they put that presumably as an advisory.

I have a 2011 model and the handbrake is not the best, have to pull it on hard and always leave it in gear on a slope.
I was wondering that.... Its either efficient enough to pass or it isn't.
They may have mentioned it as an advisory but I would have asked for it to be removed or reworded as it passed.

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Chris51
Mar 24, 2010
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Got file up and copied-will try that routine (when we get a good day!). Thanks all for info.
 

138go

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Thought everyone left it in gear. Reverse if facing downhill with wheels pointing to the curb. Mind you I passed my driving test a good few years ago. My dad never had a driving test as he got his licence just after the war. His father used to ring him from the pub down the road to go and collect him. One night he phoned for a lift as he had got lost in the fog. All he had was the address where he had asked to use the phone.

As regards the handbrake I saw a Hymer with a straight extension about 12" long which would give a bit more leverage. Mind you its only an advisory so don't worry.
 

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