2017 VW Polo auto

Hi my son hit the brakes quite hard and now when you try and reverse with the hand brake off it’s acting like the hand break is still on and won’t reverse but rather tries to then jumps a little. What could this be?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


I'm assuming a 2007 VW Polo has drum brakes on the rear. For most mass-production cars, excluding those with really high-performance brakes, the handbrake lever manually activates the rear drum brakes. (In comparison, higher-performance cars with rear disc brakes often have a separate caliper for the handbrake).

The reason I mention that is because it seems like your rear brakes are dragging, and dragging rear brakes will feel like the car is being driven with the handbrake on even though it isn't.

To test this, if possible, jack your car up so that one of the rear wheels is off the ground. With the footbrake off, the wheel should spin freely. If it doesn't, your rear brakes are stuck "on".

Drum brakes are held "off" by springs and then pushed "on" by a little hydraulic cylinder connected to the pedal. If the hard braking caused one of the springs to break or come loose, your brake shoes might not retract to "off" position.


Braking hard on road will not easily harm your handbrake to get stuck or damage. Brakes are built to get the vehicle stopped harder as it requires. You can check if your e brake system is failing or misbehaving. Or maybe it's possible if you clutch plate is old and need to be replaced, that could give a significant reduction in the torque. It's better to get to a services ration and give it a quick check up because if the brakes are hamming the tyres they'll get to know easily

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