How To Adjust Emergency Brake On Disc Brakes?

The emergency brake is an important functional part of your car as the emergency brake is important, so you should know how to adjust the emergency brake on disc brakes.

The majority of the vehicle are yet running on the road with a built-in drum on the rear wheels. Therefore, the functional system of the emergency brake varies from one to another.

But a bit of similarity is visible on the conventional model or most sedan cars. You need to look at your emergency brake from time to time.

If you do not want to end up with your car at an expensive car garage, you should sort out the problem related to adjusting your emergency brake.

In this post, we’ll teach you how to adjust emergency brakes on disc brakes.

How To Adjust Emergency Brake On Disc Brakes

When Do You Need to Adjust the Emergency Brake?

The best place to check whether your emergency brake is okay is any road with a higher elevation than the usual flat road. Take your vehicle to an area where the road has a sloped surface.

Then park your car and pull the parking brake and see, at one point, your gear becomes fully engaged. Also, check that your vehicle goes from the high to the low elevation road after pulling the gear.

Try to check whether the gear is fully engaged until it reaches the ultimate limit or not. If you see that at the same time, your car is moving toward the downward side of the road, then you need to check and adjust your emergency brake.

But still, before going for any adjustment, look at your car’s owner’s manual to find if the engagement of the emergency brake gear is down or if it is from one-third of the final pull.

How To Adjust Emergency Brake On Disc Brakes

How to Adjust the Emergency Brake?

You should follow some steps to adjust your car’s emergency brake properly. These are the following:

Step 1: Lift Your Car Using Car Lift

It would be better if you first remove the car from the ground using a car lifting machine. Then take two car jacks on two sides of the car’s rear side.

Make sure you are not putting your jacks under any softer surface. After fixing two harder parts of your car, remove the lift.

Do not entirely depend on a just car lift. If it becomes loose, then a major accident can happen to you.

When Do You Need to Adjust the Emergency Brake

Step 2: Assess Your Cable

If you are facing any complexity related to your emergency brake, you should look at your cable. First, check whether the cable is disconnected or not.

As the car is not on the ground, you can easily go under your car and inspect the cable under the handbrake lever.

If any stiffness is noticeable due to any problem hampering the cable from moving, then you know there is a problem. It would be better if one more person is with you so he/she can pull the handbrake and you can check if the cable is moving or not. If no one is there, you have to do it independently.

Find Out About Cable Complexity

Step 3: Find Out About Cable Complexity

First, check the cable without pulling, then check it without pulling.

If the cable doesn’t move, spray any oil, making it smoother. But if you can not pull the cable after giving oil, you must buy a new one.

On the other hand, if the cable works smoothly after the lubrication of the oil, then you can continue to ride with the existing cable.

Step 4: Have a Look at Your Rear Wheel

Now you open the wheel and rotate the brake rotor. On the rotor, you will find a black colored rubber-covered circle. Remove it with the help of a screwdriver.

After rotating it, you can see a star wheel through the gap of the disc. In addition, you will see the adjuster wheel when the disc is in a six-clock position.

Then, you take a screwdriver, move the star wheel adjuster upward, and make it sufficiently tight. Now you again adjust the star wheel with 7-8 downward steps by using the screwdriver.

Now you can see that the disc is moving at a smooth pace. This means you have adjusted the star wheels correctly.

Pull the Emergency Brake

Step 5: Pull the Emergency Brake

Now you go lower the car by removing the jack and the car lifter. Next, make sure both your rear-wheel are tightly fixed.

All you need to do now is to go to your driver’s seat and start the car after pulling up your emergency brake. Then, try to move your car to the front side by putting your feet on the gas pad.

If you see the car is not moving forward, then your job is done as a first-timer. But if the car moves smoothly, then there might be other underlying problems that would be difficult for you to find out.

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How To Adjust Emergency Brake On Disc Brakes

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do emergency brakes self-adjust?

No, emergency brakes do not self-adjust. You must manually adjust the emergency brake to ensure it is working properly.

2. Can emergency brakes ruin brakes?

No, an emergency brake should not ruin your brakes. However, if the emergency brake is not adjusted properly, it can cause excessive wear on the brakes and reduce their effectiveness.

3. Is parking brake and emergency brake the same?

No, the parking and emergency brakes are not the same. The parking brake keeps the car stationary when parked, while the emergency brake is used for sudden stops or emergencies.

4. Is the emergency brake connected to the rear brakes?

Yes, the emergency brake is connected to the rear brakes. The emergency brake cable is connected to the rear brakes, and when it is pulled, it applies pressure to the rear brakes, causing them to slow down or stop the car.

5. What wheels does the emergency brake stop?

The emergency brake stops the rear wheels of the car. When the emergency brake is pulled, it applies pressure to the rear brakes, causing them to slow down or stop the car.


If you own an auto gear car, most of the time, your car’s emergency brakes are not in any use. By that time, it may get stiff or can be loosened.

By applying the steps mentioned above, you can ensure a good inspection of your emergency brake and can make a proper adjustment.

Even if you fail to make a fine adjustment, you should visit the nearest car garage as soon as possible.


John D. Archer

John D. Archer is a mechanical engineer and writer based on the area of automotive accessories at, A resident expert and professional, John is passionate about all things automotive and loves to share his knowledge. He has good experience in all kind of automotive accessories. He has worked as a chief mechanical engineer in some reputed automotive garage firm.

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