How to Adjust Emergency Brake on Chevy Silverado? (Solved)

Things can go wrong if the emergency brake of your vehicle stops working without notice. The brake must work properly to prevent your car from accidentally moving back and forth while parking.

So, how to adjust the emergency brake on Chevy Silverado when the brake slips frequently, creates unusual noises, or shows other symptoms of being disconnected?

You need to first raise your car, dismount the rear tire, and then dismount the rotor and brake calipers. After that, adjust the braking shoes and mount back everything you’ve dismounted.

The process may sound complicated but it will not anymore if you go through the detailed steps we’ve crafted in this article. So, let’s scroll down to get a well-guided set of steps to adjust the parking brake in the right way.

How does the emergency brake work on Chevy Silverado?

There are two types of parking brakes in vehicles; manual and electronic parking brakes. Some models of Chevy Silverado are equipped with manual emergency brakes while some with electronic ones.

When it’s a manual emergency brake, there’s a lever that connects to the rear brake using a steel cable. Where the lever locates can vary depending on different manufacturers’ designs. In Chevy Silverado, you’ll find the lever in the center of the vehicle located to the right of the driver.

Whenever you pull the lever, the steel cable of this component transmits the force to the brake shoes of your vehicle. The force then is expanded in the drum and wedge.

After that, the wedging makes the force stronger which helps keep your car in place. However, the brake cables can get damaged over time from frequent usage and stretch. In such cases, they need necessary adjustments.

Below are some common causes of brake wear:

  • The most common reason is to use low-quality brake pads or any other brake system components.
  • Dangerous driving with a lot of sharp turns is another reason (e.g driving on hills).
  • Driving in places where you need downhill braking can also add wear and tear to the brake system.

Now, let’s talk about the electronic parking system and how it does work.

Simply put, electronic brakes use the same principle as manual ones. But these brakes have a switch instead of the mechanical lever and cable. The switch here helps activate the electronic motor and the motor then lets the rear brake shoes contact the rear drum of the vehicle.

Tools you need for adjusting the emergency brake

You can go to any automobile repair shop or the Chevrolet repair shop to adjust the braking shoes, or you can just do it on your own.

The tools you’ll be needing to do the work are a Jack, a Wrench, and a Ratchet Wrench, that’s all. 

The Jack will be used to elevate the rear side of the Chevy Silverado. You need the Wrench to remove the nuts and the screws from the wheel. Finally, using the Ratchet Wrench will be needed to remove the brake calipers.

Steps to adjust Emergency Brake on Chevy Silverado

Now, we will be providing you with the actual step-by-step guide to adjusting the parking brake. To be more specific, we are going to show you how to adjust the braking shoes if your emergency brake is malfunctioning on a Chevy Silverado.

Raising the Chevy Silverado

First, you need to locate the emergency braking mechanism, which is located on the rear wheels of your Chevy Silverado. Thus, you have to remove the rear tires to get a hold of the mechanisms of the brake.

Now, raise up the rear wheels with the Jack. Remember to park the Chevy Silverado on evenly balanced and unyielding ground so that your Jack doesn’t slip off.

Once you’ve raised up the car, remove the nuts and screws from the rear wheels with the help of a Wrench.

Dismounting the Rear Tire

You’ve raised the car and loosened up all the nuts and screws from the rear wheels of the Chevy Silverado using a Wrench. Now, dismount the rear tire entirely. You should be seeing the brake rotors and the calipers.

Dismounting the Rotor and Brake Calipers

To get access to the parking brake system’s mechanism you have to dismount the brake calipers and the brake rotors.

You’ll need a Ratchet Wrench for this job. There should be seeing brake calipers affixed with three bolts. Once you’ve found the bolts, remove them. Then, coast down the brake calipers to dismount it with your hand.

Do the same steps with the brake rotor and remove them by sliding down with your hands.

Adjusting the braking shoes

Once you’ve alighted the brake rotor and the brake calipers, the parking braking mechanism of your Chevy Silverado is now completely exposed. This is where we start the real work.

You should see a rotary turn-dial there. It’s situated between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock. The dial should be attached to a bolt. This bolt is used for pushing the shoes near the brake rotor.

The braking shoes put in a compulsion to the brake rotor and the parking brakes start to work. This means, for adjusting the emergency brake, you have to push the bolt that is attached to the braking shoes closer to the brake rotor to make it work.

You figured out how to make it work. Now you just have to adjust the dial that pushes the braking shoes to the brake rotors. You can mount the brake rotor back to see if the compulsion is correct or not. If it’s not then dismount the rotor again, and adjust the dial accordingly.

Wrapping up

If you’ve followed all the steps correctly, the emergency brake of your Chevy Silverado should be adjusted. Now, you have to mount back everything you’ve dismounted.

You can start with the brake rotor. Then, comes the brake calipers and the three bolts you’ve loosened to remove the calipers. Bolt them back with the Ratchet Wrench.

Then, mount the rear tire back and attach the screws and nuts with a Wrench. All parts have been re-mounted and you’re good to go now.

Steps to adjust Emergency Brake on Chevy Silverado infographic

Final Words

Look, we know this sort of work needs a lot of sweat and labor, but it will save you nearly 300 US dollars. If you find yourself in a troubling situation while adjusting the emergency brake, feel free to contact the Chevrolet Support Center.

Lastly, good luck with adjusting the parking braking mechanism on your own.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.