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How to Adjust a Parking Brake in a Subaru

by Ron Sardisco

The parking brake on a Subaru consists of a lever in the passenger compartment that is connected to a rod with a "T" fitting and a cable running to each rear wheel. When you pull the lever, the cables activate the parking brake drums and hold the vehicle. It is possible for these cables to stretch and be difficult to engage. If you hear more than six clicks when you lift the lever, your parking brake needs adjustment.

Step 1

Check the braking system on your Subaru to ensure that all air has been bled and the hydraulic system is adjusted properly and functioning as designed. Complete any repairs or adjustments to this system before adjusting the parking brake. Apply the parking brake several times while counting the clicks. If the number is more than five or six you will tighten the cable, less and you will loosen it.

Step 2

Remove the center console by carefully using the trim stick to pry up the console trim cover. Remove the console cover and tray and then the console.

Step 3

Use a small wrench to loosen the lock nut on the adjuster while holding the adjustment nut with another wrench. Turn the adjuster nut counter-clockwise to loosen the assembly. Snug the nut by hand and apply the brake. If it is still out of adjustment, continue tightening the adjustment nut until you have the proper number of clicks.

Tighten the lock nut against the adjusting nut using two wrenches. Reinstall the console, console tray and console cover. Reinstall the console trim cover.


  • If you cannot get the brake to work well with five or six clicks, you should replace the cables.


  • Make adjustments slowly.

Items you will need

  • Basic automotive hand tools, metric and standard
  • Automotive trim stick

About the Author

After attending Pasadena City College as a business major, Ron Sardisco spent 35 years studying small business and organizational behavior. More than 20 years as a banker, 10 years as a small business owner and five years as a business adviser fuel his passion for writing and mentoring others. An award-winning photographer, he was also a contributing columnist to the "Antelope Valley Press."

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