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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I've been having problems with my handbrake effectiveness quite a while now in my 2002 Mini Cooper S. The problem is that even after several maintenance rounds the handbrake just does not brake effectively enough to keep the car in place even in the slightest slope. In this condition it would also fail the mandatory inspection (MOT) here in Finland.
The guys in a local garage made a temporary fix by somehow tightening and cleaning the handbrake and the rear calipers, which worked for a while, but now the situation is back in the same as it was before. They told me that if the problem occurs again I should get the rear brake calipers replaced as the fault is somehow in them. While doing that I should also get the pads replaced.
Has anyone had similar problems and got them fixed by changing the calipers & pads?

After some reading here in the forums of some related problems I wonder if I should replace also the handbrake cables as they can apparently get stretched and ruined. Do you know if this really is the case?

I also got a price quote from a local Mini dealer of the calipers and pads, which was quite incredible - about 600 euros (nearly $900) and not even including the work! Installation at the dealership would probably cost something between 200 to 300 euros more.
Therefore I've been trying to find some shop online where I could get the calipers with a slightly more reasonable sum, but it seems that they all are just selling pads, rotors and big brake conversions (and those only to front and not rear). Any ideas where I could get the calipers?

Br,
Have
 

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If you cannot do the work yourself, go to a brake shop. there is nothing special about the Mini brakes. Generally, a dealer will be double the price of an independent. If I were doing it, I would pull the calipers, free up the mechanism and put them back checking the pad wear at the time. I doubt the cables are bad unless someone damaged them during an adjustment. It is also possible that your system is either out of adjustment or the problem is in the handbrake handle unit inside the car, there could be a gumwrapper stuck in it!.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
KillerByte, yes I'm leaving the car in gear when in park. Anyway the terrain here is so flat that there isn't basically any use for a handbrake, except for passing MOT and driving down the ramp to the underground parking hall of our house where I have to get out of the car to open the garage door from a locked panel in the wall.

oldmots, the car has been in a shop because of the handbrake now twice in a year and the result has been the same after both times. It works fine for a while, but then the handbrake bite, or effectiveness, fades out. That is the reason why I need new rear calipers, according to the mechanic.

I just wonder why doesn't any of these all mini specialized online shops have rear calipers in their inventory? :( Or at least I haven't been able to find one yet.
 
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