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Handbrake Problems

19126 Views 23 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Eduard
My handbrake will not engage when the car is facing up hill , however there is no problem when the car is facing downhill. The local Vauxhall dealer has checked the brakes and have concluded that the handbrake pads need replacing.
The car is less than 2 years old and done less than 20k miles.
I cannot understand how the pads need replacing in such a short period of time when the car is fitted with an electronic handbrake , and why the handbrake engages downhill and not uphill.

Have any other members encountered this problem , and could can anyone offer any advise on how to avoid the excessive handbrake pad wear in the future , once the pads have been replaced.
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Have you looked at the thread in faults and fixes 3rd page.
Hi Monoman,
I bought an Antara at the weekend and have faced the issue that you described below, the electronic handbrake does not want to engage when the car is facing up hill but is fine when facing down hill.

Did you find a resolution to this problem?

I called the garage 20 minutes ago and they tried telling me that you must pull the handbrake half way, press on the foot brake and then pull the handbrake up the rest of the sounds like a complete palm off but i'll test it on the way home later.

Hopefully hear from you soon.

Hello monoman, I had exactly the same problem. The reason it engages down hill is the handbrake works off a small drum and the direction pulls onto the shoes . I was informed by the dealer that there is a small drum buried inside the disc and small brake shoes operate on this . Initially the dealer replaced the electric handbrake motor , but was not that good ,a bit inconsistant . So took it back and asked the workshop manager to come with me and try it on some hills and indeed he said it was not good enough . Said they would ask vauxhall for advice and leave car with them and they would act on that advice . 2 hours later he returned car and said they didnt know about the drum brake , but they do now and they had never had to touch a antara hand brake . In his words a very well engineered system . We took it to a 1in 5 hill near where i live and it held rock solid .
So i bit long winded getting to it ,but go back and tell the garage it as a drum .
Also question vauxhall information , i did and they told me antara definately got a small drum handbrake . My antara is a 2013 year ,so if yours is not a earlier model it should be the same ,as i dont know if it applies to the earlier ones . But as i say ask vauxhall info site .
Hope this helps ,
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Hi Dutch. What was the problem in the end with the handbrake?. What did the fridge say it was? I park my car on my drive which is on an incline. Tonight I got into the car, started it up and the car began to roll backwards with the brake on. I have found that the brake wont hold when the car is backwards on the incline but will when facing forwards. Exactly the same issue you had. Cheers AlanH
Hi alan h.
Dutch here. The. Problem with the handbrake was dealer didn't know it works off a drum hidden in side the disc , not a expert my self but as I am led to believe you have to remove disc to get to it but it can be adjusted with disc in situ . My handbrake is now really good and indeed today it held car and caravan on a reasonable hill .
ITs hard tobelieve but dealer hadn't had to touch antara handbrake and was in the dark on it but contacted vauxhall technical and got the info and fixed it. In less than two hours . So if anyone got the syptom of handbrake holds down hill but not facing up hill it can be be adjusted no problem .
Hi Dutch.
I take it the drum simply had to be adjusted rather than a new motor?. I've got the car booked into the dealership Tuesday morning. I will keep you updated.
Alan h
Hi alan h,
Yes the handbrake can be adjusted without removing the disc so the workshop manager told me . But as a matter of course he said they had removed disc and checked brake shoes etc were o.k as I had complained and proven to him personally that handbrake was no good.
Alan I don't know where you live , but I live in daventry and the dealer. Is dantre garage . Their no. is 01327. 871612 , I can only say that they look after me very well and got straight on to it that day I complained . And now it is really good .
Let me know how you get on, also worth contacting vauxhall info they will also inform you .
What happens if you cannot start your car how do you get the electric handbrake off
Big Rev said:
What happens if you cannot start your car how do you get the electric handbrake off
As Long as you have power in the battery the hand break will release you dont have to start the engine to release the handbreak.
Hi Dutch.

My Antara has returned from the dealership and is now fixed. It holds backwards on my drive again. When I took it on I spoke to the workshop manager who explained Vauxhall know they have an issue with the handbrake failing. I could not believe what I was hearing. The manager could not answer when I asked why a recall has not been done. It was lucky I kept my car in gear otherwise it would have been sitting in my living room with me. I just think Vauxhall don't know what the issue is. I have been told the brakes have been adjusted but I would urge any Antara owner to always keep their car in gear when the car is parked up and left alone.
I have always left my cars in gear, its a good habit to get into!
Hi alan , Glad you sorted on handbrake . Just got back from towing from ilfracombe .Its a good hill out of caravan site , had to stop halfway up it .NO problem handbrake would hold the queen mary ship sort of speaking it was rock solid . Well happy with it.
Hi all. Just had my auto handbrake release while I was in neutral and start stop was working. This is the third time this has happened and its booked in for diagnostics on 9th July. The dealer says the start stop can still be a little tempremental as its still a new system!! I'll keep you Informed
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the brake will auto release if u press the accelerator
Guys I had the same exact issue vauxhall charged me £151 for the work and the car is still under the "life time warranty"

they saying I have to pay as it's manual adjustment not sure what to do ? any ideas
Mine H/Brake was not holding facing up hill but held fine facing down.
Something to do with uneven wear on the handbrake shoes, just requires a simple adjustment of the shoes apparently, I got this done F.O.C.

As the handbrake adjustment is manual it should be adjusted every year as part of the service.

If the dealer that charged you for adjusting the H/brake has also serviced your vehicle I would ask for a full refund as the handbrake should of been adjusted during the service etc.

If not then I would pursue it with the garage that carried out your last service.
My Antara (13reg) had the same fault. My driveway facing slightly uphill and I engage the electronic handbrake twice as recommended, and also put it into first gear. However a month ago I forgot to put the car in first gear and despite the handbrake light (red) showing as being on on the dashboard, my car rolled backwards down the drive. I repeated the process again and again and got the same result! As this was the first time I had forgotten to put the car into first gear as well, I wondered how long have I been parking my car not only on my drive but elsewhere without realising that the only thing keeping it from rolling away was the fact it was in first gear? I took it to my local Vauxhall dealer, who upon repairing the problem, said it was due to my rear brakes binding, and that cleaning them has cured the problem. So far everything is alright, but what happens if my rear brakes (I did not hear any evidence that they were binding) start binding again?
how do handbrake shoes wear when the car is not moving when it is applied?
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