This is a quick guide on doing a minor adjustment of the the handbrake cable tension. Full adjustment and test should involve the actual brakes themselves.
- Difficulty Level:
- Put the car on a level surface, and ensure it will not roll with the handbrake down (chocking the wheels is advised)
- Pull handbrake all the way up
- Move both front seats all the way forward
- At the rear of the center console, locate two screws, one on either side, indicated by the screw driver in the image below. Undo both these screws. Note my center console looks different, as it has screws (indicated by the 2 screw cover caps in the picture) for my armrest (not fitted atm).
- Get a couple of fingers under the rear of the center console trim, and pull up. This will cause the trim to come loose in front of the gear lever
- Keep tilting the handbrake trim up, until it is vertical, and then you can lift it over the handbrake
- Put the handbrake all the way down (did I mention it would be a good idea to chock the wheels ?)
- While holding the side of the mechanism at either of the points marked B, turn the adjuster nut (A) CLOCKWISE to tighten the handbrake and ANTI-CLOCKWISE to loosen the handbrake. Make the adjustments in small increments
- After making an adjustment, pull the handbrake up and count the clicks.
- According to the Hayes guide, the '01 - '04 Civics should be between 6 and 10 clicks on full handbrake.
- Making it too tight means you will drive with your handbrake applied, and making it too loose means your handbrake will not be as effective.
- Once again, a proper FULL handbrake adjustment / test should involve the brakes themselves as well.
- When you are happy with the number of clicks and height of handbrake, you can replace the trim by pulling handbrake all the way up, and then slipping the trim over the handbrake (reverse motion to how you took it off)
- Align the trim with the front part of the center console and when it's in place, push down firmly so it clips in place (clips are located where I am pushing with my fingers in the picture below)
- Replace the 2 screws at the back of the center console (you may need the apply a little pressure to the rear of the center console to get the holes to align up for the screws)
- All done
Handbrake Minor Adjustment