How to Adjust the Emergency Brake in Chevy Cavaliers

Written by katebo
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How to Adjust the Emergency Brake in Chevy Cavaliers
Adjust the parking brake on your Cavalier. (wrench image by Stanisa Martinovic from

The emergency brake keeps the stress off of the Chevy Cavalier's transmission while the vehicle is in park. It can also act as the backup brake if the main brake system fails. You can adjust the emergency brake in your Chevy Cavalier from your home garage, saving yourself time and money. The purpose of adjusting the e-brake is to take up the slack in the parking brake cable, which becomes stretched out over time. You will know it's time to adjust your emergency brake when you park your Cavalier on a downhill slope and the vehicle slips forward even after engaging the emergency brake.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 4 wheel chocks
  • Jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • Wrench set

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  1. 1

    Lift up on the parking brake lever five notches. Put wheel chocks in front of and behind the front wheels.

  2. 2

    Put the jack under the rear of the car and raise it up. Slide the jack stands under the vehicle next to each of the rear wheels.

  3. 3

    Find the threaded rod that houses the parking brake cable under the vehicle. On this rod is the adjustment nut. Tighten the adjustment nut with a wrench.

  4. 4

    Test the left rear wheel by turning it backwards. It should take both hands and be difficult to turn it backwards and then the wheel should lock when you turn it forward.

  5. 5

    Disengage the parking brake and check to see that both rear wheels spin freely.

  6. 6

    Raise the vehicle, remove the jack stands, lower the vehicle to the ground and remove the wheel chocks.

Tips and warnings

  • Clean the adjusting rod threads with a damp cloth to ensure a proper adjustment.
  • Check the owner's manual for exact instructions before raising up the vehicle.

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