The handbrake cables link the handbrake lever to the parking brakes to stop the car from rolling downhill. Frayed or broken handbrake cables are dangerous and must be replaced. Browse our website to find handbrake cables for all handbrake systems.
Different models of car use different handbrake systems, but by far the most common is a mechanical system of lever, rods and cables operated manually by the driver.
A number of possible cable configurations can be used depending on what type of car you have (e.g. front- or rear-wheel drive), but a typical set-up consists of a primary cable attached to a yoke, and a secondary cable that wraps around this yolk and runs to each rear wheel. Pulling on the handbrake causes the primary cable to draw up the yolk, causing tension in the secondary cable; this instigates the braking action.
If you find you are having to pull your handbrake very hard to keep your car stable on a hill, chances are your handbrake linkage system has worn over time and the cables themselves have slackened. Eventually the linkage will need replacing or else the cables might one day suddenly snap - rendering your handbrake both useless and illegal.