CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Button Recessed into E-Brake Handle?

,

So I have been “Googling” this and checked the service manual, but can’t seem to find a way to fix this. Seems like it must be a common issue since I’ve been at the junk yard and every other E30 there has the same thing going on.

So on my 1985 BMW 318i the button for the e-brake has sunk into the handle. The E-Brake still works fine, but it’s just a pain to have to stick a finger in there to release it.

Any ideas on how to correct this?

Tri Flow? (Teflon lubricant)

Not sure about your car, but on some cars there’s a spring in the handle that pushes the button back out. You probably have a weak/broken spring.

It isn’t stuck. I’ll check into the possibility of it being a spring, but it seems to operate completely normally, it’s just inside the handle.

I have no experience w/BMW, but I have a car with a e-brake handle like that, with the little button you push, and I had to adjust the tension in the cable one time. My symptom wasn’t what you report though. It was just that the e-brake didn’t fully engage when pulled back. The cable had strethed a little I guess. Not sure if of any help for your problem, but fyi. Best of luck.

I don’t have any experience with the E30 BMW, but here’s my guess: Your e-brake handle is probably some kind of piece of tubular metal, with a plastic/rubber/leather/whatever cover that surrounds it–i.e., the visual part. I’d be willing to bet that the release button has stayed in the same place, but the cover has slid forward down the metal part of the handle and now covers the button. Try engaging the e-brake, grabbing the plastic/leather handle with both hands, and see if it’ll slide back down.

I’m a little ashamed to admit it…

but @CCCommander35 is spot on. I can’t believe I didn’t figure that one out myself. The button is now properly positioned and no longer recessed. The grip had simply slipped up the assembly.

Thanks CCCommander35

That’s one of the great things about this group. There’s almost always somebody who has the exact answer for your weord problem.

But don’t feel embarassed. Somewhere here there is a thread on “dumbest thing I ever did fixing a car”. Just about all the site’s experts told astounding stories.

@MCBMW, no worries! I’m glad that’s all it took. Good luck with your 3 series! You’ve got a neat little piece of automotive history.