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My 1999 993cc Alto failed the MOT last time on lack of handbrake action. The garage that MOT'd the car fixed it for a few quid and it passed. Also the lever no traveled 6 clicks, not 12 clicks as previous. Yesterday we went out in the car for the first time on 5 weeks and on parking up at home the lever came straight up again and the handbrake didn't engage. My repair garage is closed so I got out the tools and removed the rear drums - to find - that a spring is actually missing from the nearside handbrake ratchet strut resulting in the mechanism disengaging if you jog it. The garage fix must have constituted someone poking a screwdriver through the adjusting hole in the backplate and engaging the mechanism that way - bit of a bodge eh? I replaced the missing spring with a rubber "O" ring to keep the mechanism working whilst I source a new spring. Obviously in this case Indian production standards were not up to snuff as this spring was clearly never fitted in the first place - my car is approaching 7000 miles in total, is rust-free and the brakes have never previously been touched - the rear wheel bearings are coated in a strange, thick pink transparent grease which I have not seen before. In the engine bay every important bolt, nut and connection is marked with a dab of yellow paint implying that one person did the job and another checked it and "Passed" it with the paint dab - but they didn't do this on the rear brake assemblies - pity.
 
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