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So i got in the car this morning, and it felt like i still had my handbrake on when i pulled off. Check that, it wasn't on. Drove on a little bit thinking i was imagining it, finally accepted it was definitely a problem, turned round and came home.

Walked round, and immediately felt the heat radiating from the offside rear wheel. Put the car on stands, wheel off, and i played around with the metal lever that the handbrake cable attaches too, i noticed that the spring that pulls it back to the original position (and releases the pads from the disc) wasn't pulling it back all the way.

I pushed that metal lever another 5 or 10 mm (my measurement by sight is as bad as my mechanics) and the disc free'd up and started to spin (admittedly it was still catching a little, but i think thats because the disc is slightly warped to be honest, my brother said it looked warped anyway!).

So i guess my question is, how possible is it that the spring has worn out, and that it's unable to fully retract itself and pull the lever all the way to release the brake pads from the disc? Or is this a red herring, and that lever doesn't have to go all the way back in order to release the disc, and there's a build up of grime or another problem elsewhere?

If these springs do wear out over time, how easy are they to replace. I checked the EPC for my motor, and i cant find a part number for the spring anywhere! The closest i've come to finding a replacement part is one forum thread that mentions someone having to go to the VX parts desk for a replacement spring?

At the moment i'm half and half as to whether to continue the DIY route and hope a spring works, or wether to bite the bullet and just get a professional in to take a look

Car is a Vauxhall Vectra 1.9CDTi (2007 reg plate) if that makes any difference

Any help or advice would be appreciated :)

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You can disconnect the handbrake cable at its brake disc end. If the sprung lever now snaps fully back to its stop, then you have a faulty hanbrake cable. If the lever does not spring back, spraying it with a WD40 type of spray and work the lever through its full movement until it frees off. If it refuses to free off, an after-market rebuilt unit would be the cheapest option. Bear in mind though, even with the lever freed off the handbrake cable will need to checked connected up - they can fail internally and partially seize.

  • Thanks Allan, i just booked it in to the garage this morning so i don't have to worry about it and can get on with my own work. Can't wait to get out of this horrible place and get a place with a driveway so i can actually do work on the thing properly. Garage said it sounded like handbrake cable needs replacing, but it seemed quite free too me, so i'll just let the pro's deal with it... Just have to accept i cant learn every job in the world! :P – Lee S Aug 20 '14 at 10:17

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