Self Adjusting Brakes on 08 Hyundai Accent GLS

I have an 08 Hyundai Accent and I was in my apartments parking lot about to back out when another residents 3 year old came running out so I slammed on my brakes going maybe 10 mph in reverse. When I pulled out of the parking lot and came to the first red light, I noticed my pedal was stiffer than usual and that my car rolled WAY further then it should have before it came to a complete stop. They are self adjusting brake, I just replaced the hardware a week and a half ago, I manually adjusted the brakes to where the wheel would make roughly 2 1/4 rotations and slowly come to a stop then pulled the parking brake up and down maybe 5 times and everything was perfect. What could have happened by me slamming on the brakes in reverse like that would cause longer complete stop distance and a stiffer than usual brake pedal???

Rear drum brakes self-adjust when you step on the brake pedal while backing up.

So, operating the parking brake doesn’t effect the brake adjustment on this type of brake system.

So, the rear brakes may now be adjusted so close to the brake drums that it’s causing the stiff brake pedal.


You may have broken or dislodged a brake spring, esp if you diy’er replaced brake parts recently. Drum brakes are a little tricky. Suggest to remove both rear brake drums for a look-see, you may spot something obviously wrong. Does your owner’s manual say the rear drums adjust themselves every time you pull on the emergency brake lever? If so, that’s almost certainly how they work. That’s how my early 90’s Corolla’s rear brakes self-adjust. My 40 year old truck brake’s adjust by braking while backing up, just different design is all, both methods do the job.

Another idea, perhaps you inadvertently switched the adjusters left/right when you replaced brake parts recently. If those parts are on the wrong side, the friction surfaces move further away from the drum (further out of adjustment) when the adjustment mechanism is used. Look carefully. There’s usually a letter “R” stamped on the parts specific for the right side, and “L” on the parts for the left side.

Note that it is possible slamming hard on the brakes got the front disc brake calipers stuck as well, and that’s what you are noticing. Try hand-spinning all four wheels, might provide a clue. Remember that to hand-spin a drive wheel, usually both must be off the ground.

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My theory is that you just tightened up the rear brakes some so that the bias is more with the rear than the front. Rear brakes alone are terrible at stopping a car and rely on the front brakes to do more of the work. If the rears are kicking in sooner, the front brakes may not be activating likely did before. I suspect after some use, it’ll change again. Not a mechanic, just from experience of rear brakes locking up.


So as far as drum brakes, I was the quickest at tearing them down and rebuilding them, correctly in my automotive class lol. I did one drum at a time so I did not switch the adjusters. I did put my car in reverse and didn’t give it any gas and slowly pulled up on the parking brake about 4 clicks, I did that a couple times then hit the brake pedal a couple times and that worked but now I have to do that every time I get in my car it seems like.

My front calipers are screwed, well one of them is. Buying a set today actually