There is a common problem with the hand brake – uneven braking. It is rather easy to start looking for the problem in the brake caliper, worn pads or in the stretched brake cable. I did exactly that on my old, but warmly loved Honda Accord CB3 1991 year model. After trying all the possible solutions, I even consulted with a couple of mechanics, but they could not figure either. The solution was unbelievably simple. Here, I will show how to address the uneven braking by a mere adjustment of the cable tensions on the example of my Honda.
My car has failed car inspection with the abovementioned problem. Only the right rear wheel was locking when the hand brake was applied. I replaced the caliper, but it did not help. I tried adjustment of the brake cables, but this did not help either. The image below shows the brake cables after my attempt to adjust the brakes.
The main problem that I found is in the sequence of hand brake adjustment which is not clearly explained in the owner manual either. I found a video on Youtube that was explaining the proper sequence. If the steps are skipped, there will be no effect. The adjusted brakes will still not work.
The solution was rather simple, but requires the proper sequencing. So, here is the step-by-step guide how to adjust the brakes.
There is an easy way to find out if your car is driven by a timing chain or timing belt motor. If, on the side (not top) of the engine, either left or right, there is a plastic cover, your car has timing belt. If there is no plastic on the side, you have a timing chain. Here is a video that explains and shows the point.
Another way to find out is through some external sources. One good resource is the Honest John website. They made a list of timing chain driven cars. You can find the original article here – https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/chain-cam/ I repost it here in case the article disappears from the original source. By no means, this is a full list. If you know that a car with chain drive which is not mentioned in this list, please, post it in the comments with the model, engine type/size and year. I will add it to the list.
Alfa Romeo 159 and Brera 2.2 litre 4 cylinder and 3.0 litre V6 petrol engines.
Audi: 1.4TSI and 1.4TFSI (but from 2013, EA211 1.4TFSI ACT is belt cam), 1.6FSI petrol in A3, 1.8 non turbo petrol and TSI 160 in A4 B8, 2.0 litre 1,984cc 2-1PS EA888 TFSI in A3 and A4 B8, 2.7 and 3.0 V6 TDI, late V8s,