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(Post Link) post #1 of 5 Old 20-01-10 Thread Starter
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MOT Failure!

Hi Guys,

My Cloverleaf has failed it's MOT on handbrake efficiency (9%) . I've tried adjusting the cable (via the nut under the handbrake) however I took it to an MOT center and the offside brake is still a border line fail. Apparently the footbrake is fine, but not great.

Reading through past posts it seems the likely issues are cables or the caliper. The handbrake can be engaged with ease and I can see the cable pulling the handbrake mechanism on both calipers when someone else pulls the handbrake lever up.

So does this confirm it's a caliper issue? Or could there still be a problem with the cables? Any advise and recommendation for a good mechanic in the West London (Ealing) would be appreciated.


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stretched cables?
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(Post Link) post #3 of 5 Old 20-01-10 Thread Starter
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I adjusted the cable to that the pads are right up against the discs. Do the cables become stretchy so that they don't provide the necessary pull on the calipers?

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Mine failed it's last MOT on exactly the same issue. To guarantee you fix the problem I suggest replacing the two main cables, overhauling the calipers (strip down and a good clean out) and also replacing the pads. Pads can become glazed and cause poor friction which is why new ones will help. Doing all 3 of these resolved the problem for me and my car then passed the handbrake test with flying colours.

If you get new handbrake cables then I recommend paying the extra money and getting OEM ones to avoid any hassles because I had some issues with the aftermarket cables I purchased. See post #24 in this thread for the cable issues and post #32 of the same thread with the result of the caliper clean up.

I won't be posting on this forum any more. If you want to know why and/or you want answers to some 145/146 related questions then please feel free to pop over to and post on the forum where you will find me with the same member name.

I have now disabled all my private messaging options on here but you can PM me over on the forum if you need to.
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My 155 has had marginal rear brakes for ages.. and is off the road at the moment with "failed" brakes.. weedy handbrake and poor efficiency.

I got an improvement (not enough mind) with new cables, so it's worth a punt. Eurocarparts supplied mine.. about £18 each. I fitted new pads for good measure but they didn't make any difference at all.

I also replaced the calipers (you can try overhauling yours instead.. I was just in that 10-day re-test window so in a hurry) and that made a bigger difference... Again not enough.. but quite significant.

The biggest improvement I saw was after changing the brake regulator/compensator valve. I dunno how that affects the handbrake but it did boost the rear brakes .. we're almost at a "pass"

Last thing left to try is the hoses... I have braided ones on the calipers but the rubber ones at the trailing arm pivot are old OE (though my brakes are equally ****e both sides.. unlikely the hoses would both affect it like that... but I'm in there now). I'm also changing the fixed metal hoses as some of mine are a bit twisted and could be restricting the fluid flow... it's a long shot admittedly but this one has even Dr Death the MOT mechanic stumped!

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