MINI Cooper Forum banner

How to adjust handbrake?

57425 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  quicksprint
Ive just fitted new rear brake pads and i have noticed over a period of time (months) that the reach of the handbrake lever has increaced, so now it needs 4 - 5 clicks to engage. (probably all the handbrake turns!!)

I read here2helps post on gauging handbrake lever throw, which said that handbrake should be fully engaged after 3 clicks.

Here2help wrote
" Just some info.

Please note that the correct adjustment of the handbrake is as follows:-

1.Pull the lever up just one notch...the handbrake light may or may not be on,the wheels should be free.
2.Then pull it up another notch,this time the handbrake warning light must be on/illuminated and there should be some braking action/binding felt if you drive the car forward.
Note:- The second notch as a further stroke/reach than the first notch...First notch 10-20mm second notch around 40-50mm...if you follow me?
3.On the third notch the wheels should be locked up/no movement on the car.
4.If you want to you can adjust it so you can get 4 notches but please note that the car should be locked up at three notches.."

I have tried adjusting the cable at hte lever, however at 3 click it rubs ever so slighty, producing a fair bit of dust and a bit of heat, so i've backed it off again

I know that the proper way to adjust the handbrake is at the caliper, but can anyone shed some light on the procedure and how-to?


See less See more
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Well the advice in the Bentley manual is the same for the first two clicks but then says
"Drive the vehicle and pull up on the parking brake handle. Check the rear wheels lock up"
It doesn't mention that the lock must occur at the third click and three clicks to fully on is
not what I am used to. As a rule of thumb 3-5 clicks for the handbrake to come fully on is
normal unless the manufacturer says otherwise. Also the Bentley manual says under
normal wear you don't need to adjust until the handbrake gets to 7 clicks. So it looks as
if the rule of thumb is just fine for a Mini.
I am guessing the way to correctly adjust it is to change the cable. Please note.....parking brakes are not designed for continuous use as "parking brake turn levers".....
You might also take a peek under the chassis though and see of there is an adjustment mechanism at the "handle side" of the cable. I am pretty sure there is none at the rear caliper end.
SteveM3 said:
. Also the Bentley manual says under
normal wear you don't need to adjust until the handbrake gets to 7 clicks. So it looks as
if the rule of thumb is just fine for a Mini.
7 clicks used to be the MOT regulation allowance ie - the cars handbrake was pulled up 7 clicks (if it would go that far) - then the braking was checked.

It's a while since I've worked at an MOT station, but your comments combined with what I've just said suggest this is probably still the case, and the handbrake on MINI is designed to cater for 7 clicks.
It will only fail the MOT if the handbrake lever has no reserve travel (i.e it pulls up to its maximum travel).
To adjust the handbrake you need to remove the centre console as the adjuster is underneath.......don't adjust it too much as they will bind and overheat which could damage the calipers,aim for 5 clicks.

1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.