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Handbrake Failure (Of Some Kind) & Not Holding In 1st

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by oldhamuk, May 22, 2011.

  1. oldhamuk
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    oldhamuk New Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    Hi Guys,

    I've had a nasty shock this week with my 2007 S3 which I've only owned for 2 months.

    I returned home from work and parked my car on my drive as normal. My drive is quite step so once I'd turned the engine off I placed it in first gear got out locked the car and went in the house.

    Around 45 minutes later I heard a bang and jumped up to see me car crashing through my gates and coming to a juddering stop in the road. The juddering stop looked like somebody had stalled it and my first thoughts were somebody had tried to steal the car. I ran outside to find the car empty, locked, handbrake disengaged, in first gear but I was unable to push it.

    I went in and got the keys, I got in the car and the handbrake was completely disengaged and the car was still in gear as I thought from looking through the window. I tested the handbrake in every way I could and it held fine and I couldn't get it to disengage.

    I placed my car back on the drive and placed the car in first gear and then released the handbrake, and sure enough the car rolled down my drive (in fact more like pulsed down the hill if that makes sense, as it wasn't a continuous roll).

    I've had many cars over the years from Fords, Vauxhall, Honda's, etc some imports some UK Spec and none of them have had issue holding in first, and in fact in my last car a Integra DC5 Import I demo'd to my partner the reason she should leave her car in gear on the drive and sure enough it didn't budge.

    I rang Audi as the car is under warranty who said they would be able to look at it for over a week and I wouldn't be able to get a temp car from them until the 3rd June.

    I'm really lucky I live on a quiet street which is a dead end and that the kids were not out playing which they usually do outside our house, otherwise somebody could have been seriously injured if not worse.

    Has anybody else had a similar issue, I've read posts on the forum where people didn't leave it in gear and had issues with the cars moving while the handbrake was on but this is slightly different.

    Anybody’s thoughts would be appreciated as I'm puzzled, surely this shouldn't happen, I'm currently having to park my car on the road tucked against the curb until Audi can fit me in.

    Cheers

    Mark

    Audi S3 (2007)
    #1
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  3. antmax7
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    antmax7 Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    hi as it states in the Manuel when applying the handbrake you need to depress the brake pedal while the engine is still on and the pull the handbrake up.
    seen quite a few threads now with this where people have just pulled the handbrake up with the armrest down:banghead:
    the discs shrink when they cool down!
    the handbrake clamps the rear pads on to the rear discs hence depressing the brake pedal when applying the handbrake

    i have had several cars that have moved backwards while left in first with the handbrake off! vauxhall,Renault,Toyota,merc,Nissan,Peugeot just to name a few!
    several vans with decent amount of weight in but some cars also
    not tried in in the A3 though
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
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  4. Adam.
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    Adam. Meow.

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    [May 22, 2011]
    If the car is on a steep enough hill and you leave it in gear the weight of the car is just going to cause the engine to turn over hence why the car moved while still in gear.
    #3
  5. moag
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    moag she's no d-turbo

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    [May 22, 2011]
    Sounds like you havent put the handbrake on hard enough. Then as the disks cool down they contract & the handbrake slips. Its happened to a few members on here
    #4
  6. oldhamuk
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    oldhamuk New Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    First of all thanks for your replies.

    I'm pretty sure my manual doesn't state keeping your foot on the brake pedal while the engine is running, but I'll double check.

    I understand as things cool down they shrink but how can this cause the handbrake to disengage completely, the handbrake was in the position as you would have it while driving, completley down.

    I always pull the handbrake to its highest I can without using two hands and a lot of the time I pull the armrest up as I think it gets in the way (bit of a design flaw/mistake in my eyes), although I heard yestarday ('from a guy in the pub') that I should put my finger on the release button while applying the handbrake, againt not something I have ever read or been told before.

    Cheers

    Mark
    #5
  7. oldhamuk
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    oldhamuk New Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    Also not sure if it matters my drive slopes down on to the road a and I reverse up it. Like I said not sure if it makes any difference.
    #6
  8. oldhamuk
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    oldhamuk New Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    Hi Adam,

    Why would it only happen with my Audi and none of my other cars such as the Teg I know for certain I tried it with, is it anything to do with the 4 wheel drive?

    Cheers

    Mark

    #7
  9. Adam.
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    Adam. Meow.

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    [May 22, 2011]
    Don't know really but my Clio 200 done it. My 170tdi Leon FR never though.

    I always used a brick with the 200 as it rolled in every gear and my drive isn't even on a slope really!
    #8
  10. moag
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    moag she's no d-turbo

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    [May 22, 2011]
    If your reversing up your drive then it should hold in reverse. Obviously if you leave it in 1st it could roll down the slope!
    #9
  11. moag
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    moag she's no d-turbo

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    [May 22, 2011]
    It happened to me a few times when i had my clio. There were 2 or 3 mornings i woke up to find my car sitting in my middle of our street!
    #10
  12. roman3000
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    roman3000 Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    There's your problem, you left it in first which will let the car roll down slowly if the handbrake goes. Leave it in reverse and it wont budge forward.
    #11
  13. Lewis583
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    Lewis583 Active Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 22, 2011]
    As Roman said leave it in reverse and before you apply handbrake hold your foot on the brake. If the handbrake still disengages itself then there could be a problem with the ratchet on the handle.
    #12
  14. oldhamuk
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    oldhamuk New Member

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    [May 22, 2011]
    Cheers for the input guys, I'll try it in reverse see if it makes a difference, but even if it holds until Audi have looked at the handbrake I'll probably leave it on the road to be safe.

    Once again cheers for the input guys.

    Mark.
    #13

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