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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Volvo XC90: Volvo xc90. just had new rear disc and pads fitted,now

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Volvo xc90. just had new rear disc and pads fitted,now I have found that the handbrake(footbrake) doesn't hold the car on a hill. handbrake on full (5 clicks). how do you adjust the handbrake?

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If the emergency brake worked before the rear brake work was done then there may be a problem with the shoes. The emergency brake uses a separate set of shoes inside a small brake drum in each rear rotor. Often a rust ring will build up on the inside of the drum and then the shoes will be damaged when removing the rotors. If it held and worked fine before the work was done and now isn't holding at all then I suspect the material broke off the shoes when the rotors were removed. In any event, the first thing you'll need to do in this case is have the emergency brake shoes checked to see if the material is still there. If the shoes are ok or it still won't hold after they are replaced then the adjustment is made under the center console inside the car. There is an equalizer where the single cable from the front meets the two cables from the rear and there is an adjuster wheel there.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for the reply......couple of points. 1- I don't have drums on the back, I've got discs and 2- the adjustment nut is at max (accessed via passenger footwell under centre console by removing side wall carpet) but I can't see the equalizer where one cable goes to two....

You do have emergency brake drums in the rear. Inside the hat of the rotors is a drum with shoes for the emergency brake alone. If the adjuster is adjusted all the way up and it won't hold the either the cables are stretched severely or the shoes are damaged/worn.
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