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Hi all,

This morning, after de-icing the Brera in -5 Deg C, I noticed the brakes seemed to be sticking slightly. There was a couple of inches 'give' in the handbrake lever so I suspected the handbrake was partially frozen on. I kept an eye on it and noticed after approx. 7 miles of A-Road driving, the give in the lever had gone, and it seemed back to normal.

The handbrake sometimes sticks slightly if I've washed the car on my drive and not driven it for a few hours, but I think in this instance it was just the cold. Am I right in this assumption or is there an underlying problem exacerbated by the freezing temps?

Cheers.
 

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Funny you should post this, I had exactly the same problem with my 159 this morning, was -5 when I got in the car according to the screen. For about 4 or 5 miles it was noticeably stuck on :eek:
 

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I think it is a matter of handbrake cables. Probably water comes in and seizes them. Maybe they can be just oiled, or changed as a final option.
 

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Don't worry - we've had exactly the same thing in 3 non-Alfas. If I can I leave the handbrake off in this weather and put the car in gear
 

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Thanks guys.

It wasn't a major worry as it sorted itself out, but I was bored at work so thought I'd mention it! :thumbs:
 
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Don't worry - we've had exactly the same thing in 3 non-Alfas. If I can I leave the handbrake off in this weather and put the car in gear
Exactly the recomendation when parking in the Alps.. in gear handbrake off due to freezing ;)

All cars that is...
 

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As above ive got used to leaving the car in gear with the handbrake off due to them freezing or just sticking on. First noticed it on my fiat coupe and the 156 was the same. Even spraying oil down into the cables doesnt work its the rubber boots @ the end cable that wear in no time and allow water to enter the housing of the cables.
 

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Yes, defo handbrake cables. I've only ever had this on my Fiat Coupes (like the above poster). New handbrake cables last a good few years before going the same way I've found. Worth getting them replaced.

James
 

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Gaiters will be split at the caliper end of the handbrake cable, water has got in and frozen

Spray some lube down the cable (not anywhere near the friction surfaces......) and budget for a new set at the next service.
 

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Strange it hasn't happened to me before on previous cars, even when it got down to -18C two winters ago!

It's just had a major service, surprised nothing was flagged then in that case.
 

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Modern cables' inner steel cable is plastic coated and slides inside a nylon lined outer metal tube... so they don't rust like they used to... and don't need much grease to provide lubrication... so obviously that makes them the ideal candidate to let water in, which then freezes.

If you can be bothered, then it's worth a punt to take the cables off next summer and leave them in the sun for a while to heat up... Then hang them up somewhere. Spray WD40 down the inside of the cable from the top and work the inner bit in and out until the slippy comes out the other end.

Then stick some warmed up LM grease in there and work it down the inside of the cable. The WD40 will help it slide down and the grease is more runny when its hot.

Finally, cram as much grease as you can into the caliper end of the cable (the bottom, though it shouldn't be still hanging up for this bit) so that no water can get in .. and slide back any covers or gaitors.

That should give you at least 2 winters without any more problems... and if you have the cables off and they look a bit kinked or damaged or split (in the metal outer casing at the caliper end) then it's a good excuse to fit new ones.. but treat them first (as above).


Ralf S,
 

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Modern cables' inner steel cable is plastic coated and slides inside a nylon lined outer metal tube... so they don't rust like they used to... and don't need much grease to provide lubrication... so obviously that makes them the ideal candidate to let water in, which then freezes.

If you can be bothered, then it's worth a punt to take the cables off next summer and leave them in the sun for a while to heat up... Then hang them up somewhere. Spray WD40 down the inside of the cable from the top and work the inner bit in and out until the slippy comes out the other end.

Then stick some warmed up LM grease in there and work it down the inside of the cable. The WD40 will help it slide down and the grease is more runny when its hot.

Finally, cram as much grease as you can into the caliper end of the cable (the bottom, though it shouldn't be still hanging up for this bit) so that no water can get in .. and slide back any covers or gaitors.

That should give you at least 2 winters without any more problems... and if you have the cables off and they look a bit kinked or damaged or split (in the metal outer casing at the caliper end) then it's a good excuse to fit new ones.. but treat them first (as above).


Ralf S,
Excellent advice! :thumbs:
 

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mine was frozen this morning, for the first time ever. drove off the drive to see if it would release and no, it wouldn't. all the warning lights came on for ABS, VDC etc. sat there for 15 minutes getting some warmth into the engine, then switched off and tried again. warning lights went out and was able to move off fine, brake cables had abviously thawed out

my question is this - is there a quicker way to release frozen cables?

I can't reallypark it with no handbrake and leave it in gear as the drive is on a hill and presumably this would put pressure on the tranmssion? will probably have to get new cables but haven't got the time to sort anything out this side of xmas so just looking for an interim quick fix if there is one...
 

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I squirted up the cables with Silicone Lubricant followed by white lithium grease - so far so good.
The handbrake cables of my FIAT HGT hated winter, and though I replaced them every other year in the 100,000 miles I did in it, the last winter of the cycle always showed this problem
 

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I'm about to fit a pair of new cables. I've already greased them with this here Silkolene grease - Silkolene PRO RG2 Racing Grease

This solution worked well on my 166 and other vehicles.
Have fun. I put a guide on some where. It will take you about 2 hours plus depending on your spanner magic. Any problems give me a shout.
 
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