Author Topic: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline  (Read 844 times)

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Online mnevis

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Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« on: April 18, 2018, 05:42:34 PM »
My Mazda 3 handrake can be driven with the handbrake on.  There is a lot of freeplay before the clicks start.  The mechanic does non know what is wrong with it.   He says the levers on the caliper are working correctly but surely they are not being activated when the handrake is on.  He says the pads and the discs are ok.  The piston calipers are not sticking says the mechanic.  What can possibly be wrong?    Can anybody help me please?  The car is a 2005 Sakata model 1.6 Petrol.

Online mnevis

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 05:57:54 PM »
I have just found this post from 2010.    I  looked before posting my message and did not find this.   Is this what I need to do to restore my handbrake?    I mentioned that fact to the mechanic that maybe the handbrake cable needs adjusting.  The mechanic replied that the handbrake cable is self-adjusting and therefore no manual adjustment is needed.  Is the mechanic correct?

"Hi all, the handrake was taking 8 clicks before locking the rear wheels up so I decided to have a go. There is a 10mm adjusting nut down through under a small cover in the centre console connected to the handbrake mechanism, which I carefully tightened up until I now only have 4 clicks on the handbrake and the rear wheels are locked - am very happy. Can anyone advise me please whether this is the correct method or not?
Being a qualified sparky I'm not always the best when it comes to mechanics. ;D"

Online mnevis

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2018, 06:03:35 PM »
Can anybody tell me what I need to do to get to this nut to adjust the handbrake.  My MOT expires is a few days and in preparation  for the MOT four weeks ago I booked the car into the garage to have the handbrake fault rectified.   It has been back twice since then for the same fault.  I was informed all the handbrake parts were functioning correctly.  I said how can they be when the handbrake won't hold on a gentle slope?   The response was the same. 

Offline Willpower

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 06:11:29 PM »
You have the answer in the post you quoted. 

In the centre console behind the gearstick is the flap that has the cup holders in it. Right at the back towards the rear seat, there is a rectangular cover about 1"  square. Lift that cover out and below it you will see the handbrake adjusting nut.  Get a socket set and tighten the nut.  Try the handbrake as you tighten the nut until you feel the difference. 
Look at life through the windscreen, not the rearview mirror.
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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 06:33:12 PM »
Willpower.   Thank you I will try that.   Behind the handbrake lever is a centre console armrest/box.  Inside the box I can see two screws, so will investigate.  Once again, thank you for the information. 

Offline Willpower

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 08:56:00 PM »
No, not inside the box. This is what you are looking for. In front of the armrest. 

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 11:08:02 PM »
Thank you for the exploded view.   I will attend to that tomorrrow. 

Offline moozmooz

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2018, 01:31:12 AM »
A socket's no use for adjusting the cable. You need either a 10mm box spanner or open ended spanner. I'd change my mechanic for one that's got a bit more sense.

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2018, 03:33:19 PM »
A socket's no use for adjusting the cable. You need either a 10mm box spanner or open ended spanner.

Why do you say that ?  I did mine with a socket on an extension bar. Worked perfectly.
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Offline hanix

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2018, 04:07:45 PM »
I suppose it depends on how much thread is sticking out of the nut.

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2018, 05:19:55 PM »
I have adjusted the nut in clockwise direction to the full extent of its travel and the handbrake is slightly better but not acceptable.  Does this mean the handbrake cable has stretched and needs replacing?

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 06:34:50 PM »
"Why do you say that ?  I did mine with a socket on an extension bar. Worked perfectly"

On my 2005 Gen 1, a standard socket can't reach the adjuster nut as the end of the cable protruding from the nut's too long. It was like that from new before any adjustment. I've always used a 10mm open ended spanner.



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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 06:46:24 PM »
"Does this mean the handbrake cable has stretched and needs replacing?"

I've never replaced the rear pads on a Mazda 3 so I'm not sure if it's possible to screw the piston too far back before fitting the new pads. I'm thinking back to when I had a SAAB 99 and if you did that and left too much clearance between the pad and the piston, you got no handbrake.

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2018, 07:20:08 PM »
Removed as possibly utter hogwash.. ;)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 07:25:10 PM by StevenRB45 »

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 09:36:08 PM »
There's an easy way to check this, and I should have pointed it out earlier. Put it down to age.

Jack up a rear wheel and reach round to locate the handbrake actuator lever. Spin the wheel and try braking by pulling on the handbrake actuator lever. If you stop the wheel, it's pointing towards the cable being stretched. If you don't stop the wheel, the fault must be at the caliper and might be resolved by removing the pads, adjusting the pistons, then reassembling.

You're not getting braking at either side, so it's almost certain that it's the same fault each side. I'd be amazed if the internal mechanism that pushes the pad onto the disc when the handbrake is operated had failed on both sides at the same time, so they're either seized, or the pistons were cranked too far back when the pads were last changed (as described previously), or the cables have stretched.

The amount of wear on the brake pads shouldn't make any difference. When mine were changed my mechanic (not Ed) described them as being like razor blades and congratulated me on getting every last bit of wear out of them, while still within safe limits and without damaging the discs.

Safety note. Best to use axle stands before reaching behind a wheel when the car's on a jack. Don't want you blaming me for a broken arm.

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Re: Mazda 3 Handbrake Will Not Hold Car On Slight Incline
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 09:36:08 PM »