Brake Repair

4 Steps for Replacing a Parking Brake Cable


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Parking brake cable replacement is a brake repair that doesn't need to be done at a shop. If you take the time to gather the necessary tools and the replacement cable, you should be able to do it yourself in about 2 hours in your garage. This article will tell you how, with the presumption that the cable you buy is a direct fit replacement.

Gather Needed Tools

None of the tools necessary for parking brake cable replacement are specialized. In fact, chances are good that you already have the tools you need. These tools are:

  • A floor jack and jack stands
  • Pair of wire cutters
  • A socket or wrench set
  • A flashlight
  • A flat blade screwdriver
  • A pair of pliers

Step 1: Jack up and Support Car

Jack the car up and support the left side of the car with jack stands. Place one stand under the front portion of the frame or the A-arm, and the other under the rear portion of the frame, or the axle. Use care to make sure you don’t pinch the brake cable when you lower the car onto the stands. Release the emergency brake.

Step 2: Remove Brake Cable from Rear Connection

  • Adjust the brake cable so it's as loose as possible.
  • Using the wire cutters, grab the ball at the end and pull towards the rear. Slide the cable out of the groove in the connector plate.
  • Follow the cable to where it enters the front of the car to the pedal, removing the clamps and clips along the way.

 Step 3: Remove Cable from Parking Brake Pedal Assembly

  • Using the wire cutters, grab the ball at the end of the cable and pull. You may need the flashlight to see.
  • Slide the cable out of the groove in the pedal assembly.
  • Using the pliers, grasp the clip holding the cable in the hole through the body and squeeze firmly.
  • Rock back and forth while pushing back through the opening.
  • Throw old cable away or recycle.

Step 4: Install New Cable

  • Insert the front end of the cable in the hole in the body and push.
  • Using the screwdriver, pry the cable clip up and in until it locks in place.
  • Slide the new cable into the groove on the pedal assembly and seat firmly.
  • Pulling the slack out of the cable as you go, re-secure all clips and clamps previously removed.
  • Using the wire cutters, pull the cable taut and slide into the rear connection.
  • Adjust the cable so there's very limited slack.
  • Engage the parking brake pedal to check tension. Readjust if necessary.
  • Remove jack stands and lower vehicle.
  • Clean tools and put away.

Parking brake cable replacement doesn’t have to be a mystery, as long as you take care and have the right tools and parts. If you read this guide thoroughly and carefully, you will acquire the knowledge necessary to save yourself money by doing the job yourself.

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