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How to Tighten the Emergency Brake on a 4Runner

by Rex Molder

Toyota 4Runner SUVs are equipped with an emergency/parking handbrake, located between the console and the driver's seat. The brake allows drivers to manually control the rear brakes using a cable, which is useful when the vehicle isn't running (parked) or in case of a hydraulic failure (emergency). Though the brake adjusts itself under normal conditions, over time the cable can stretch and may require manual adjustment.

Step 1

Slowly pull up on the parking brake handle and count how many clicks it takes to fully engage the brake. It should take seven to nine clicks to engage the brake. Anything more means the cable is too loose and anything less means it's too tight. In either case, you need to adjust it.

Step 2

Release the parking brake lever. Unscrew and remove the shift lever and transfer case (4WD models) knobs by unscrewing them counterclockwise. Remove the screws from both sides of the console and lift it straight up until it clears the shift levers. Set it aside.

Step 3

Use pliers to turn the parking brake adjustment nut, located on the right side of the parking brake handle. Turn the nut clockwise to tighten the brake and counterclockwise to loosen it.

Step 4

Recheck the brake cable tension by counting the clicks. Continue to adjust the brake until it is within the range of seven to nine clicks. Release the parking brake.

Return the console to its proper position by placing it down over the shift lever(s). Replace the console screws. Screw on the shift lever knobs by turning them clockwise.

Tips

  • When the console is off, use the opportunity to lubricate the parking brake handle hinge mechanism with a small amount of lubricant, such as WD-40.
  • Place the console screws where they won't be lost while you are working.

Items you will need

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Pliers

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