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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm new to all this. I just got (my first car) a 2005 Mustang V6. Nothing fancy, but by far the nicest car at my school. I love cars, and I know a little about them, but not a lot. My question is this, why is my hand brake only coming up maybe three inches? It feels extremely difficult to engage, and is a pain to disengage. Is this normal, or is it just because it's an automatic? I know on a few of our family vehicles that are manuals, the hand brake comes up a lot farther. Please, any help is greatly appreciated!!
 

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I would bet what you're feeling is normal. A properly adjusted e-brake should only come up several "clicks" remember that this brake is not assisted by any hydraulics like your regular brakes are. You are pulling against a spring. Once engaged, you now have to pull against that tension to disengage the brake. Much like shfting a car out of park when it's on an incline.
 

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I would bet what you're feeling is normal. A properly adjusted e-brake should only come up several "clicks" remember that this brake is not assisted by any hydraulics like your regular brakes are. You are pulling against a spring. Once engaged, you now have to pull against that tension to disengage the brake. Much like shfting a car out of park when it's on an incline.
welcome to the forums. i agree, sounds like the rear brake pads are in good shape, the cables arent stretched and the e brake is working good. :) if the brake seems real loose, could be stretched cables or wore out rear brakes, pads or rotors or both( or drums and shoes)
 

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First off, congrats on your first car! My mustang is my first car as well and it is definitely the coolest car on the lot at school! As for your ebrake, mine is the exact same way. I assumed it was because the previous owner never used it, so it wasn't worn out.
 

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First off, congrats on your first car! My mustang is my first car as well and it is definitely the coolest car on the lot at school! As for your ebrake, mine is the exact same way. I assumed it was because the previous owner never used it, so it wasn't worn out.
It doesn't necessarily mean that the previous owner never used it, but it could be that the pads had recently been replaced, Newer pads will be thicker than worn ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys. First off, thank you for all the help!

I went out today when I got off work, and I pulled it. I was just parked in my drive way, at a decent incline. Anyhow, I pulled it up and set it, then put my car in neutral. Again, it's an Automatic, so I have no normal use for it. My car rolled down my driveway, into the street. What the heck? I can tell it's engaged, but it's like it's not clamping the brake pads down very much. I put on my regular brakes, and it stopped. I pulled it two more clicks, and tried again. It did the same thing. So I started it, drove it up the driveway, and went to try again. And here's the new weird thing. It comes up REALLY easy now, even when it's all the way down, it wiggles. I don't know a whole lot, but that can't be what it's supposed to do? Still, it's not engaging hardly at all. :(

Well, my question now is this, should I just take it to a dealer, or does anyone have any ideas?
 

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That was a pretty smart test of the emergency brake. I hope you were in the car at the time. :) I actually think that the e-brake is very usefull with an automatic. I never let the car sit against the park pin of the transmission. I always engage the e-brake prior to taking my foot off of the brake when parking the car. Without it, the car will still rock back and forth against the transmission. Might be overkill, but something I like to do. The car I had before my Mustang would actually adjust the rear drum brakes with the e-brake. So doing it that way kept the brakes adjusted.


As far as where to go from here, you have a lot of options. If your school has an auto tech shop (all high schools should in my opinion) ask the shop teacher for help. We used to have free Fridays where we could bring our cars (or friends) into the shop and work on them. The shop teacher would help us out. I even would come in on Saturdays with him to help clean the shop or work on his race car. He would in turn assist me if I needed help trouble shooting any problems I had with my car.


Another option would be to take it to a mechanic. A dealer will sometimes cost more. Some places will inspect everything for a small fee or even free. Then you can have the option to have them fix it or try it yourself.


The thread HenryinFlorida posted looks helpful. Take a Saturday and trace it back to see if you can spot where the issue might be.
 

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I actually think that the e-brake is very usefull with an automatic. I never let the car sit against the park pin of the transmission. I always engage the e-brake prior to taking my foot off of the brake when parking the car. Without it, the car will still rock back and forth against the transmission. Might be overkill, but something I like to do. The car I had before my Mustang would actually adjust the rear drum brakes with the e-brake. So doing it that way kept the brakes adjusted
i do the exact thing, i use my e brake in my auto every time i put it in park. ive always felt its better to use it all the time vs. not use it at all, as far as the cables go. as far as the trans goes, i`m with danza6, i keep the load off the trans and shifter every time i put it in park, even if i`m on a flat surface. pulling 4 or 5 times on the ebrake does adjust it, as does using it all the time. its not the greatest ebrake but mine does hold the car pretty well. i think it holds better forward than reverse( from putting it in gear and forgetting to let the brake loose)

just some additional info to add to this, a common problem is the rubber boots where rear cables connect to the calipers crack and let water into the cables. this will rust and mess up the cables, but also will freeze in the winters( where applicable) like mine did and my g/f`s too, which besides being stranded in freezing cold, it can warp the rotors. i just replaced mine last year. spraying grease into the cables through the cracks can help as a bandaid. the 2 rear cables were under $100 and easy to replace.

you can almost monitor the condition of your pads and rotors if your cables are good, by how far it pulls up. also these rotors dont last long. a couple sets of pads and the rotors are gone.

check your cables at the boots, if they are rusted up they could be hanging up and not working good.
 

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SOunds like the cable was rusted and with all the pulling it may have snapped.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys, just a follow up. I checked what some of you said, and sure enough, my cable was rusted stuck, and I'm guessing it snapped. But on the bright side, I got it fixed. :)

Thanks for all the help guys!! :bigthumbsup
 

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This is a common problem on this vehicle. I'm surprised there hasn't been a recall. I had to replace my brake cables and hand break. Water gets into the brake cable line and rust keeps the cable from slide back in forth. It's still a great car. :bigthumbsup
 
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