• The hand brakes work on the front wheels.

• Adjustment is done on the callipers.


  Much negative has been said about the handbrakes (yes, there are actually two;) on the CX, and everything wrong. So long as you give them proper maintenance, there are no more efficient hand brakes on any car. Have a look at what Autocar wrote in 1978:
  The remarkably effective handbrake operates on the front wheels. It managed an almost unbeatable 0.42g deceleration and easily held the CX Pallas C-Matic on a 1 in 3 slope, from which a restart could be made with contemptuous ease.
  And remember that the hand brakes also function as emergency brakes.

  The handbrakes must be adjusted and greased often. Minimum every spring and autumn, otherwise you end up with two immovable rust lumps. It is also important to use them from time to time.

1Handbrake lever
2Control lever
4Adjustmnt screw
5Contact switch
8Plain washer
9Hexagonal nut

The drawing is borrowed from the Citroën CX' parts list

1Handbrake cable
2Handbrake lever
3Set 4 brake pad
4Hdbrk equalizer
5Cable ring
6Hndbrk spindle
7Hndbrk spindle
9Return spring

The drawing is borrowed from the Citroën CX' parts list

12Handbrak spacer
13Lever stop
14Cable guide
15Cable guide
16Adjust collar
19Plain washer
20Plain washer
21Plain washer


If the brake disks are getting thin, it will be difficult to get the hand brakes tight enough. If so, replace the brake disks. (The brake disks shall be minimum 18 mm thick.)

Hjulboltar NB! The brake disk must be immobilized with three wheel bolts. If you use bolts for aluminum wheels: Put on 13mm spacers (nuts).

To adjust 4x 11 you can use a large flat screwdriver or a square awl where the outer tip is removed. Or make yourself a special tool of 4.5 mm thick metal:


Deler   Justering
The drawing is borrowed from the Citroën CX' service manual     
  1. Jack up the front of the car, put it on stands, take off the road wheels and put the gear stick in neutral.
  2. The hand brakes must be disengaged.
  3. Unscrew the lock nut and the adjustment nut on the wire both sides (2 11mm wrenches + small spanner to hold the end of the wire).
  4. Loosen 4x17 (17mm).
  5. Adjust 4x11 (clockwise seen from behind) and tighten 4x 17, first at the outside, then on the inside. (4x 11 must be tightened/turned just so much that you can easily rotate the brake disc with your hands with a little resistance. Be sure not to touch the surface of the brake disc, hold onto the edge.)
  6. Pull out the wire first on one side, and then on the other side. Measure the difference and screw back on the adjustment nut and lock nut on both sides. (If the end sticking out on the left side was 5 mm longer than the one on the right, it shall still be sticking out 5 mm more wire on the left side.)
  7. Test that you can turn the brake disks around with your hands, and that they (the brake disks;) are completely clean.

On alloy wheels the end of the wire might hit the rim. If so you can try to shorten the small set screw slightly (2 8mm wrenches) and realign. If that does not work either, you can pull out the wire and put on a few washers or a nut or similar.

Tighten 4x17 7.5 mdaN (75 Nm). Tighten the lock nut 1.5 mdaN (15 Nm).

Click on the picture for a closer look.

Put grease on the wire and pull a plastic hose onto it so that the hose will remain under the trigger guard.


The warning light for engaged hand brake is on when it should not.


This usually is because the switch (5) will not be pushed far enough down. Cut and put on a piece of filt (meant to be put under chair feet's).

Warning lamp

Winter and frost                                      

In winter, you should avoid having the hand brakes on for an extended period of time, in case they freeze. Park flat (transversely in a hill), and have the car in reverse or in 1st gear. Let go of the brake pedal and wait until the car has settled (may roll a little bit forward or backward) before you switch of the engine and let go of the clutch.

If you cannot park transversely in a hill, turn the front wheels: Turn the steering wheel all the way over, and hold it there while you switch of the engine and take out the key. Then gently let go of the steering wheel to engage the steering wheel lock. When you put the key in the ignition again, it is important to twist / pry a little on the steering wheel so you don't break off the key.

• Downhill: 1th gear.
• Uphill: Reverse.

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