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Old 04-28-2009, 05:57 PM   #1
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How-to: Adjusting the emergency - parking brake on 05-09 Cobalt w/ rear disc brakes

Tools required:
Trim removal tool (or something flat, dull, and hard) that won’t scratch plastic surfaces
10mm long socket, extension bar, ratchet

1. According to the Haynes manual, a properly functioning e-brake system will allow the lever to travel between 1-5 clicks. If it travels less than 3 clicks, there is a change the brakes are dragging.

2. Block the front wheels, raise the rear of the vehicle and support on jackstands. Alternatively, you could do the inspection using a flashlight and mirror without lifting the car.

3. Remove the trim piece around the e-brake lever by first raising the lever as high as possible. Using the trim removal tool, start from the rear corners and move your way forwards.

Click the image to open in full size.

4. Remove the rear cupholders in the same way you removed the first trim piece. Be careful and avoid scratching the console with the sharp clips.

Click the image to open in full size.

5. Remove the rubber shroud on the e-brake lever. First locate the clip on the underside of the handle as shown. Push in that clip while pulling the shroud forward (towards the dash).

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

6. Raise and lower the e-brake lever a few times to settle the hardware.

7. With the lever fully released (down position), rotate the rear wheels and listen for any drag on the brakes.

8. Using a mirror, inspect the stops at the rear of the caliper and see if the lever hooks are touching the stops when the e-brake lever is fully released.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

9. The driver’s side cable (at least on my car) is the first to get tightened by the e-brake cable due to the apparent design. I observed that my driver’s side e-brake WAS dragging significantly more than the passenger side, and I also observed the lever was not at the stop (on the rear of the caliper) when I released the e-brake. You may want to keep this in mind as you adjust the e-brake.

Click the image to open in full size.

10. Loosen/tighten the adjusting nut next to the shift lever as necessary. The Haynes manual says to loosen the nut just until the lever touches the stop, then loosen the nut one full turn.

Click the image to open in full size.

11. As a check, the Haynes manual states to lift the e-brake lever 3 clicks and attempt to rotate the rear wheels. It should rotate with some difficulty, while the 4th click should lock the rear wheels. Although I suspect you may need to use a 5th or 6th click to hold the car on a steep hill.

12. When the e-brake lever is released (down position), you should not experience any drag.

13. With the lever lifted as high as possible, re-install the plastic trim and the rear cupholders.

14. If you lifted the car, gently lower it to the ground.

15. Remove the wheel blocks (if you used any).
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Last edited by metroplex; 04-29-2009 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:26 PM   #2
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:54 AM   #3
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nice write up

today i think ill check on my wheels to see if there is any drag.
simple how to's like yours make me smile :P
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:21 AM   #4
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i've known how to "tighten" the e brake for a while. i cant figure out how to adjust one sides linkage over the other. right now my driver rear is being pulled on way more than my passenger rear. you pointed this out in your how to but i read it 3 times and you never mentioned how to adjust it.
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:46 AM   #5
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I have the same issue as BULLETSSMOKE I was thinking of putting a shortner on the cable but not sure how durable it'd be.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #6
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:03 AM   #7
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Old 11-19-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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does anybody know how to fix the driver side drag. When i release the parking brake the right side still stays engaged a little almost like the spring on the calliper is shot.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:00 PM   #9
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just did mine.

you can make do with just an open 10mm wrench and a flat heat screwdriver to push the tab under the e-brake to get the cover off the handle.

I was able to pull the plactic panels up by hand without a problem. In fact I took them off a few months ago to clean them.

Dont be afraid to pull they wont break. I pulled from the front of the car/panel upwards.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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sub'd..this could be the fix for all the SS/TC owners with terrible rear brakes..
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:26 AM   #11
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my e brake cable snapped and now i have to try and fix it any tips or pointers
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BULLETSSMOKE View Post
i've known how to "tighten" the e brake for a while. i cant figure out how to adjust one sides linkage over the other. right now my driver rear is being pulled on way more than my passenger rear. you pointed this out in your how to but i read it 3 times and you never mentioned how to adjust it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshuaVnyrd1817 View Post
I have the same issue as BULLETSSMOKE I was thinking of putting a shortner on the cable but not sure how durable it'd be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 06CobaltSS635SC View Post
does anybody know how to fix the driver side drag. When i release the parking brake the right side still stays engaged a little almost like the spring on the calliper is shot.
Did anyone ever resolve this problem? If so, how did you do it?
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:24 AM   #13
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:49 AM   #14
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Great, I'll do that when I get back home, I have had my car for a year and 3 months or so now, and I have not had an e-brake the entire time, just had to leave it in gear.. At least I live in Florida, not too many hills.. Thanks for the how-to..
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:51 PM   #15
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so my ebrake works really well actually like i can leave it on a hill but i want to tighten it
i dont want to **** with either side i just want to make it tighter in general

so basically what i should do is just tighten that bolt that is underneath the hand lever?
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:01 PM   #16
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:41 PM   #17
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Hey guys i got an issue with my 09 tc I just changed the rear pads, got the tool compressed the caliper like I was supposed to got it all back together brakes work great....one drawback my park brake doesnt work worth a dam, do i Just need to adjust it or did I fudge something up when I cahnged the pads??
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:58 PM   #18
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isnt the ebrake the shoes? so putting new pads on shouldnt effect it. maybe you somehow disconnected the ebrake cable? not really to sure. just trying to help you out
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #19
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wish these pictures werent gone. Kinda makes the thread a lot less useful
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:31 PM   #20
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hmm i tuned my brake lever much easier than this, not to dog on your nice write up.

i just used my hands to remove all the trim (real easy to do) and once u get the brake lever cover off u can just tighten with a flathead screwdriver, if my memories correct. reeeall simple
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:18 PM   #21
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I just changed the rotors and pads on my '07 SS and the ebrake is as tight as a drum, I need to know how to back it off, Can I loosen them the same way as tightening them? Under the handle itself?
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:09 PM   #22
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Any chance you can fix the photobucket pictures?
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:48 AM   #23
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:26 PM   #24
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After having GM adjust mine three times, i went to the dealer today for them to do it again because it came loose and wouldnt hold. They made the handle tight again, and we tested it on a small ramp. Oddly, it did NOT hold, they went back in, and said my rear calipers were messed up, something with the guide rods not going in all the way / clamping so they ordered new ones. Im cool with that.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:01 PM   #25
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Just finished adjusting my ebrake. The drivers side seems to drag more than the passenger, even when the ebrake cable is fully loosened(the drivers side would spin 6 times, the passenger would spin infinately).

With that in mind, I adjusted the ebrake for the drivers side only. After 3 clicks the tire will spin with effort, but wont spin after 4 as suggested. The passenger side does its own thing
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:01 PM
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