The handbrake hasn't been holding properly on our car (ten years old.) Wifey parked it at the gym car park and found it two hours later waiting mischevously in the bay opposite to the one where she'd left it.
I plan to change the discs and pads this year but there is still plenty of meat on both so I put the handbrake problem down to a stretched cable or seized automatic slack-adjuster. I jacked the car up to have a look. The adjuster is buried behind the centre exhaust box and I'll be buggered if I'm taking that off. The problem can be countered by leaving the car in gear and turning the wheels towards the curb for the time being. I did manage to get the heat shield off and my hand behind the exhaust and the adjuster does feel very dry and as though it's reached the end of its play.
I wonder - if I replace the brake parts - how on earth the adjuster re-sets itself, or if I'm going to have to take the exhaust off and work on it or replace it altogether.
New cars have transformed life for men. Handbrakes would have required periodic adjustment at the hubs as part of the servicing routine. I remember a time when every morning was spent with the distributor cap off and the weekend was spent having to sort out something or other on the car - but at least we COULD fix things then. Now much of it is inaccessible, disposable, irreparable.
Modern cars will go along beautifully until they go wrong - and when they're broken they tend to leave drivers stranded. A good roadside recovery policy seems to be the order of the day.