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Handbrake fault warning.

Alan huxley

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Had a handbrake problem today. Returned to my car, started up and about to set off when 'Handbrake Fault' appeared. tried all combinations and footbrake and handbrake without success, plus lots of ignition on / offs also no joy. Was thinking I was going to need a new battery

I rang my local garage who quickly came out with the OBD ? reader, which showed up that the footbrake was not registering. He went into the boot and removed the side liner above the battery and pulled apart and re set two electrical block connectors. Started up, fault signal gone and car able to move. No cost, wow !!

Worth remembering in case it happens when you are stuck.

Happy motoring.




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Hi Alan,

I have had this a few times and it always occurs when the battery is low.


1.  Disconnect the battery and keep your ignition key in your pocket and make sure you have the radio code.

2. Wait for about 15 seconds and then connect the battery.

3. The alarm will go off when you switch on the ignition. Take the alarm off.

4. You will be given instruction on the dashboard.  

5. Apply both hand a foot brake at the same time.

6.  Done.

You will have to reset the radio, the windows, the volume et.

It saves calling out the garage.




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Hi Peter,

Thanks for your response.

I have made a note of what you said, however having watched the mechanic, there are two plastic screws holding the side liner on, pull this back and disconnect the two blocks and re fix and we were off. No radio or windows or alarm to re-set,

I was surprised when you said it is a symptom of low battery, as only the day before we had had quite a long run out. I will get the battery checked.

Thanks again.


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Hi Alan,

I had heard about the two blocks from my mechanic --  I hope I don't have to do the handbrake fault again, though.

The battery on the s type usually lasts about 5 years.  I had to ge a new one in March this year when the existed battery was only 3 years ad 4 months old. I think that battery was not as good as the Bosch that is now on!



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Hi l have this problem often with the handbrake fault etc.

I have found through luck more than anything that  if I remove the key from the ignition once the fault warning is shown. Wait for the mssge to dissapear. Then open the drivers door and put the key back into the ignition and turn on the engine, at the same time release the E brake with my foot on the foot brake as I run a manual car then close the door. You will see that the "door open" on the dash, this goes off once closed. This works 9 times out of 10 so to speak. I think that doing this process distracts the computer from the h/brake fault to a lesser problem like the door is open. Maybe someone knows the real reason for for the h/brake warning ?.... p.s with the warning light on, the hand brake is also engaged... but when I go through the above process it releases the E brake.. thankfully..

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