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Hyundai Elantra Brake Problems

Immediate Attention.....All Hyundai owners should check to see if their Emergency/Parking brakes work correctly.

All vehicles made after 2006, all Hyundai models, with the pull lever type of Emergency/Parking brake assemblies should be checked to see that their Emergency/Parking brakes work correctly.

Additionally, if you have had any rear brake work done on your vehicle that required removing the rear rotors or emergency/parking brake work done; more than likely...the service technicians did not repair it correctly...not repairing or making adjustments to your vehicle according to Hyundai Official Repair/Service manuals.

Apparently, someone dropped the ball at Hyundai Motor America and did not place a requirement for a force push/pull gauge on the Hyundai service departments.

Bottom line...all levels and all certifications of Service Techs, Field Service Engineers and Hyundai Representative do not have the necessary tools on-hand to perform EMERGENCY / PARKING BRAKE INSPECTION AND ADJUSTMENT PROCEDURES CORRECTLY, SO THEY SKIP THE OFFICIAL PROCEDURES.

Skipping these procedures could lead to emergency/parking brake drag when the brake lever is not set or the parking brake not functioning when you believe you have set the emergency/parking brake.

Step 1. Block the front tires so the vehicle will not roll.

Step 2. Raise the vehicle as if you were going to change the driver’s side rear tire.

Step 3. Rotate driver’s side tire while the brake is in the released position. If you feel any drag or hear a rubbing noise, your emergency/parking brake may be dragging. If you suspect dragging, lift the emergency/parking brake lever 1 click, if the drag feeling has intensified or you cannot move the wheel, then your emergency/parking brakes need to be adjusted.

Repeat the above steps on the passenger’s side rear tire.

Now that you know your emergency/parking brakes are not dragging, check to see if the emergency/parking brake will hold the vehicle.

Step 1. While a driver is in the vehicle, release the emergency/parking brake lever.

Step 2. Pull the emergency/parking brake lever up 4 clicks from the released position. Be prepared to step on your normal brakes...Place the vehicle in idle speed...

Does the vehicle move?

If YES, Repeat the above step with the lever pulled up an additional click each time until you reach 8 clicks from the released position.

Make note when the emergency/parking brake actually holds the vehicle.

If your emergency/parking brakes do not hold the car when the lever is pulled 8 clicks from the released position (where the adjustment is check according to the official manuals and around 44 LBs of pull force maximum is need to raise the lever 8 clicks), then your emergency/parking brake is not adjusted correctly.

When you take your vehicle in to have your emergency/parking brakes adjusted...ask that you be allowed to see the technician use a force push/pull gauge during the inspection/adjustment procedures.

Additionally, if you identify a problem...please email Hyundai Motor America customer service at and have them document your issue...have them give you a case number.... this is the only way a TSB or recall will be issued, since the servicing departments are skipping the official inspection steps.
Good luck


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Can you please provide more details? For example, your warning is for all Hyundais made after 2006 with a pull lever parking brake. Why is it specific to 2007 and later Hyundais? Was there a general design change Hyundai made on parking brakes on all of its cars, and specifically the Elantra, starting with the 2007 MY? I own a 2004 Elantra GT with a pull lever parking brake. Would this warning apply to it (and thus to 2001-2006 Elantras)?

    Also, there are several Hyundai models (Accent, Azera, Sonata, Tiburon, Tuscon at least) for which the current design dates back before 2007. Wouldn't these cars be affected by your warning also? (Unless of course Hyundai made a general design change to all of their parking brakes starting with 2007 models.)

    Also, could you please share with us how you know that it is likely that all Hyundai service techs do not repair parking brakes correctly and that no Hyundai dealer service departments have the necessary tools to perform parking brake inspections and adjustments? Because if that is the case, it won't help Elantra owners like me and other Hyundai owners to bring their vehicles into a Hyundai dealer to have the parking brake worked on. They would need to go someplace else, right?
  • Hey Backy, I reported this to my dealership when I had the car for a month. They checked it out and didn't bill me as they said it was a warranty check. And they said there was nothing wrong. I told them the car was rolling backwards with the emergency brake on. Now I notice the same thing this person is saying. I can actually drive down the road with the emergency brake on. My husband can't. So I am taking it in for an oil change probably within the next 2 weeks and I was going to leave it for an overnight inspection on a Friday so my husband or they can pick me up the next day. I want them to fix my problem and if I can drive down the road with the emergency brake on, then that means I need an adjustment...wouldn't you think? Heck...I have only had the car 6 months and its been like this for 3 months. But they tell me I don't have the brake pulled up right. I say... well...check it out. Because before I go for my appt.I am calling Hyundai and putting in a report this time.
  • Your 2004 does not require the use of a force push/pull gauge to adjust, repair or check the emergency brake.

    It is specific to some 2006 and later, because this tool is used to inspect, adjust and repair the emergency brake. OWNERS SHOULD CHECK THEIR ON-LINE MANUAL FOR THE EXACT DETAILS.

    Why they do not have the tool, look at the ESSENTIAL SERVICE TOOL SURVEY FOR 2008 (on line) not a listing for a force push/pull gauge anywhere. So this tool was not on the suggested tools or placed on requirement for servicing dealers.

    The dealer has the official manuals and everyone that uses this forum could review their official inspection/ adjustment/repair procedures.

    I challenge you to call any authorized Hyundia service department within your local area and ask them how they would check the emergency brakes on a 2009 Sonata. (A new car that has several requirements for the use of a force push/pull gauge).... When the say, they would put the vehicle in drive with the emergency brake on and if it holds the car, then it works... Ask them WHY they don't follow the official manual?


    How do I know this; from experience, A PLATINUM TECH, A REGIONAL SERVICE MANAGER AND A FACTORY FIELD ENGINEER ignored these procedures again (last attempt,#9, to fix my brake issues) and then started back stepping to protect their jobs.... its BBB Auto line time for me, I done with Hyundai.


    As for who should work on your car, I would only suggest the dealer (under warranty) and only if you are allowed to watch them follow the official procedures....most people do not want to do this....SO I WOULD SAY SOMEONE WHO IS AUTHORIZED AND SOMEONE YOU TRUST.

    Backy, I have a question for you ...I read somewhere on forum that you have driven several Hyundais over the past 3 years, I think more than a dozen... How are you able to drive so many different Hyundais?


    What model and year Hyundai you own?

    Print out the official inspection procedures before you go, then you'll have everything in writing and no one can tap dance around your issue.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    What is different in the design of the parking brake of the 2001-2006 Elantra (which I have) and the 2007+ Elantra (which is one of the subjects of your warning)?

    I am not sure where to find an "online manual" with details on inspecting, adjusting, and repairing the parking brake on my Elantra. If you happen to know such a link, could you please post it? I don't think that level of detail is in my hardcopy owner's manual, but I don't have access to it right now.

    I do know that my local Hyundai dealer, where I have the car serviced, prohibits customers from being in the service area, as a safety issue. Actually, every car repair shop I've been in in recent years has the same policy. So I don't think I would be allowed to watch a service tech work on the car. But since my Hyundai isn't affected by your warning, it's a moot point for me. As for going to someone who is "authorized" to work on a Hyundai's parking brake... I was not aware any authorization was necessary.

    As for how many Hyundais I've driven over the past 3 years, I think you are referring to a recent post where I said I have driven about 15 (lost count after 12) 2006-9 Sonatas. Most of those were rentals. Others were test drives; over the past few years I've had the Sonata in my sights as a car to purchase. Have come very close to pulling the trigger a couple of times, and in fact I plan to check out some low-miles 2008 Sonatas with really good Internet pricing this Wednesday, the last day of the year, and see how much the sellers are willing to deal.
  • These procedures will not be in you owners manual

    They are in the Official Service/Repair manuals. (about $200 for the set)

    or free through the HMA Service

    Here is the Online procedures for 2007 ea=HMA&langcode=ENG&modelid=HD13&modelyr=2007&mmctype=en&mmcid=25&group=SHOP&vie- wtype=&cat1=2007+%3E+G+2%2E0+CVVT&contentssize=655&firstnodedesc=Brake+System&si- tinfolist=41%5E4120%5E41200600%5Enone%5E801%5E1%5EENG%5EHY%5EHD13%5E2007%5Eall%5- E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Eshop%5E%2441%5E4120%5E41200600%5Enone%5E801%5E8%5EENG%- 5EHY%5EHD13%5E2007%5Eall%5E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Eshop%5E%2441%5E4120%5E412006- 00%5Enone%5E801%5E4%5EENG%5EHY%5EHD13%5E2007%5Eall%5E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Esh- op%5E%24

    You may have to signup for an account.

    If the service departments are ignoring this, what other things are they ignoring...I thought an emergency / parking brake problem would be easy to fix. Well, if you follow the procedures, IT SHOULD BE.

    On several models, the servicing dealer could perform the check in the parking lot if they had a push/pull force gauge.

    Parking brake lever stroke

    As for drag...raise each side and check for drag as I stated eariler.

    You would think a new car owner would not have to double check this, something checked at the factory and again during the pre-inspection. I know, I have someones initials that indicated this was checked.

    Additionally, I have several other initials or their numbers on service work orders....BUT HOW WAS IT CHECKED OR FIXED AND WHAT PROCEDURES WERE USED?

    I hope you get a good 08 if you pull the trigger. ;)

  • If you really want a used 08 Sonata, tell your dealer.... other dealers are telling their trade-in customers that their cars; an 08 Sonata GLS 2.4L, A/C, 4-speed Auto, cruise, heated mirrors, mud guards and carpeted floor mats with 10,500 miles in PRISTINE LIKE NEW CONDITION are only worth $10,000 tops (My dealers claims he can buy these cars all day long at wholesale for this price) so you should be able to pick one up for around $10,500.

    I hope you get the deal of a lifetime and it works out for you.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Keep in mind that the trade-in value is considerably less than the retail value, since the dealer needs to make some profit on the sale. However, in the past couple of weeks I have seen several 2008 Sonata GLSes within 25 miles of me with I4 and AT, some with the moonroof package, with between 20-40k miles for just under $11k retail. So your dealer's estimate for trade-in value sounds about right.

    Keep in mind also that EVERY used car has seen a plunge in value recently, especially over the past 2-3 months. From the prices I've been seeing, the drop is about 15-20%. A few months ago, you could have probably gotten at least $2000-3000 more for that 2008 Sonata on trade-in. That's good news for people buying cars, but bad news for those selling them. The other thing about used 2008 Sonatas is that I4 ATs could be had for under $15k when new, which doesn't exactly help their resale value now.

    If I don't get a great deal this week, I'll just wait until next year. I am in no hurry. I might wait until late next year, when used 2009 Sonatas will be available in volume.

    But meanwhile, my 2004 Elantra is running great, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS work great (including parking brake) and my son appreciates having a good car to take to school, practice etc.
  • I have a 2008 Elantra GLS automatic which I purchased on June 5, 2008. My hubby got one at the same date and time due to the good bargain we got. ($13,995). I was looking for a new vehicle due to losing my Toyota Taco to a recall that it was taken off the road and junked. And since I couldn't afford a new Toyota Taco and my legs were too long for the Toyota cars, this is why I bought my Hyundai. My legs were even too long for the Sonata which is what I was originally going to buy. But after the test drive I knew I would have trouble owning it with the leg room. So, we both bought the same car. Only different colors. Hubby's car is the one whose fuel pump went and caused the 3 car pileup in NJ. Then they did the recall.

    Also, I just noticed everyone...even though hubby's car was fixed in July (fuel pump) as I looked over our bills I was getting in order, I noticed when he did his oil change in Sept like I did that they replaced his whole fuel pump and assembly AGAIN under recall. Now, makes me wonder what they did in July. The bill in July said fuel pump replaced. And the bill in Sept says Fuel Pump Kit Pump Kit installed under recall warranty.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We have a number of Elantra topics - let's try to keep this one focused on the brakes, okay? :)
  • Here are the official online links for the repair and component location for your 08 Elantra Parking brake issues.

    Component Location ea=HMA&langcode=ENG&modelid=HD13&modelyr=2008&mmctype=en&mmcid=25&group=SHOP&vie- wtype=&cat1=2008+%3E+G+2%2E0+CVVT&contentssize=655&firstnodedesc=Brake+System&si- tinfolist=41%5E4120

    Repair procedures ea=HMA&langcode=ENG&modelid=HD13&modelyr=2008&mmctype=en&mmcid=25&group=SHOP&vie- wtype=&cat1=2008+%3E+G+2%2E0+CVVT&contentssize=655&firstnodedesc=Brake+System&si- tinfolist=41%5E4120

    I would print these out and ask that you be allowed to observe the tech when he or she makes your adjustments.

    Additionally, I would have them pull both of your rear rotors a let you see the wear on your parking/emergency brake pads (compare them to a new set, I could not find the specs on these), next have them check the round-out / run out of the rotors and the emergency brake area contact area.


    IF Rear brake disc thickness (rotors) less than 8.4 mm ( 0.33 in), have them replace the rotors.

    IF Rear brake disc round out /run out is greater than 0.05 mm (0.0020 in), this includes the parking brake contact area... tell them you want both rotors replaced, your car is NEW.

    20k is about 44 lbs of pull force and your lever should come up 7 clicks. Ask to see the push/pull gauge they are going to use and when they can not produce it... tell them to go and buy a digital fish scale at Walmart to get the adjustment close and you'll be back in a week when they have the right tool...... Or better yet, just keep the loaner they give you until they prove they are following the procedures.

    A really good push/pull gauge is only about $300.00 and they will probably have to order it.

    Imagine if someone dropped the ball on a requirement for a torque wrench... these cars would be falling apart all over our highways.

    Good Luck :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    I got "500" errors on each of the links you posted. :sick:
  • Lets try this again... you may have to sign up for an account.

    Components - ea=HMA&langcode=ENG&modelid=HD13&modelyr=2008&mmctype=en&mmcid=25&group=SHOP&vie- - wtype=&cat1=2008+%3E+G+2%2E0+CVVT&contentssize=655&firstnodedesc=Brake+System&si- - tinfolist=41%5E4120%5E41200600%5Enone%5E401%5E2%5EENG%5EHY%5EHD13%5E2008%5Eall%5- - E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Eshop%5E%2441%5E4120%5E41200600%5Enone%5E401%5E1%5EENG%- - 5EHY%5EHD13%5E2008%5Eall%5E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Eshop%5E%24

    Procedures - ea=HMA&langcode=ENG&modelid=HD13&modelyr=2008&mmctype=en&mmcid=25&group=SHOP&vie- - wtype=&cat1=2008+%3E+G+2%2E0+CVVT&contentssize=655&firstnodedesc=Brake+System&si- - tinfolist=41%5E4120%5E41200600%5Enone%5E801%5E1%5EENG%5EHY%5EHD13%5E2008%5Eall%5- - E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Eshop%5E%2441%5E4120%5E41200600%5Enone%5E801%5E8%5EENG%- - 5EHY%5EHD13%5E2008%5Eall%5E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Eshop%5E%2441%5E4120%5E412006- - 00%5Enone%5E801%5E4%5EENG%5EHY%5EHD13%5E2008%5Eall%5E0%5Enone%5Enone%5Enone%5Esh- - op%5E%24

    link to setup an account and login

    Lastly the 20K of force should be 20Kg of force... which is equal to about 44 Lbs. of pull force.

    The new 2009 Sonata procedures have the techs use a pull gauge during several step of the parking brake adjustments, with different pull force requirements... even used to establish a parking brake drag point on the rotors (then the parking brake shoes are backed off (shoe clearance).

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    Thanks, I was able to view these links w/o signing in (although I do have an account).

    But the procedures you posted mention nothing about requiring the use of a push/pull gauge when servicing the parking brake. So I am puzzled why you seem upset that at least some Hyundai dealers (such as the one you took your Sonata to for service) don't have one.
  • Look at # 10 of the PARKING BRAKE SHOE (DISC BRAKE TYPE) Installation

    look at # 3 of the Parking Brake Lever Stroke Adjustment

    between the yellow-orange lines

    Parking brake lever stroke :
    7 clicks (Pull the lever with 20kg)

    BIG NOTE IN GREEN under it :

    After repairing the parking brake shoe, adjust the brake shoe clearance, and then adjust the parking brake lever stroke. (Refer to "Parking brake shoe installation")

    and then the picture under this NOTE

    Pull up with 196 N (20kg, 44lbs) force, within 38MM of the top ot the lever not to include the push button.

    I'm off to enjoy the new years celebration, I hope you have a great one too.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    I saw those notes. I did not see anything specific about using a push/pull gauge in this procedure, e.g. "WARNING: be sure to use a push/pull gauge to ensure you are applying exactly 196N/20 kg/44 lbs. of force. Failure to do so will result in an improperly adjusted parking brake." If it were important to use such a tool in the procedure, shouldn't it say so? I've seen other parking brake adjustment procedures for other cars e.g. Miata specifically mention a tool, e.g. spring scale.

    Maybe the culprit here is the folks who write Hyundai's repair manuals??

    Have a good celebration. I am going to stay off the icy roads and leave them to the other celebrants.
  • I think many repair procedures rely on service techs knowing how to perform and understand general service procedures. I also believe, torque procedures and measurements, making thickness and clearance measurements, and performing pull / push measurements would fall into that category... Don't you?

    Does someone else other that Hyundai write their Official Service/Repair manuals or maintain the Hyundai Motor America Service Web-page?

    Whoever wrote the manual went to a lot of trouble to identify a certain pull force requirement, (put it in 3 different types of measurement force based on scale 196N/20 kg/44 lbs) identified a certain area position on the lever itself (within 38MM of the top of the lever not to include the push button) and how far the lever is to move from the non-set position (7 clicks).

    If they did not want their techs to follow this ...I wonder why they go to so much trouble to include these measurements and a picture too in their manual?

    You would think a Hyundai Field Engineer with a Hyundai Motor Representative and a Platinum Service Technician (all working together, on-site) would be able to breeze through these steps... THAT IS, IF THEY FOLLOW THE MANUAL AND HAD THE TOOLS ON HAND... RIGHT?

    I'm in agreement with you, the manual could be a little more detailed, but this should not be used as an excuse on anyone's part, neither should skipping the procedures because they did not have the tool on hand.

    I hope you have a spectacular 2009. ;)

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    The 196N/20 kg/44 lbs. seems to be a standard or at least typical spec for cars with pull-handle parking brakes like on most Hyundais. So I am kind of curious what could be the negative impact of a service tech simply pulling up on the brake lever with reasonable force, up to 7 clicks, and if the failure to use a push/pull gauge at that step is in fact the "weak link" in the procedure, as it appears you believe it to be, or not.

    Anyway, I have to take my Elantra in for an oil change and a couple of other things in the next month or so... one of those things is a parking brake adjustment, as it takes too many clicks to set now compared to when new 5 years ago. So I will be sure to ask the dealer's service tech if they employ a push/pull gauge in their adjustment procedure and let you all know what I find out.
  • Just like you said, 196n/20Kg/44lbs. seems to be standard or at least a typical spec for Hyundais car with the pull type parking brake lever.

    The "weak link" ... doing it by feel it not accurate... hence that's why there is a spec of 196N/20 Kg/44Lbs for these newer hyundai vehicles.

    One techs feels right, might be over tight (MY CASE... BRAKE DRAG for 13 months)... while another techs feels right, might not be tight enough (AS I SUSPECT IN SCHUKANUOSLADY'S CASE AND MY CASE SINCE NOV 08)

    Just out of curiosity, how many clicks do you have to raise your parking brake lever in order to hold your 04 Elantra... when you put your vehicle in drive, while at idle and let off the foot pedal brake (I assumed you have an automatic transmission)?

    Thanks :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,681
    My son is out and about with the Elantra, I'll have to get back to you on that one. I just know that when I was last in the car in my driveway and used the parking brake, it went up a LOT farther than it ever did before, I think more than 7 clicks but I don't recall just how many. I am not sure the brake has ever been adjusted in the nearly 5 years I've had the car. I don't drive that car much now since I turned it over to my son, so I'll have to take it out and see what's what.

    I would think an over-tightening or under-tightening would be more due to not turning the adjustment screw the appropriate amount, but that is just conjecture.

    P.S. What I actually was trying to say was that the 196N/20 kg/44 lbs spec seems to be common for MANY different cars, not just Hyundais. Try a Google search on those terms, especially 196N, and see what you get. :)
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