Hand brake issues

Here is an issue that most XJS Convertible owners experience at some point. You waited for a while for the perfect day to drop the top and now that day is here. You get up early to prepare for the most romantic interlude, like picking the perfect bottle of wine, making the ultimate picnic basket and blanket, pick the right music. You know, the tunes that the two of you fell in love with. What an adventure this day will be. So you open the garage door and smell the crisp air while the birds are still singing the most romantic melodies. You get in the car look at each other as if you were 16 again and on your first date. Wow! This day is what storybooks are made of!

You start the car, un-hook each corner of the top, pull on the handbrake but it does not click as you pull up on it, no resistance but you say to yourself oh well this day is fantastic and push the top button but nothing happens! So you move the handle up and down, but nothing. Now you begin to use words not appropriate for choir boys! We all have had this happen. Not quite on that planned special outing, but we have.

Many times people will contact us asking for a replacement hand brake but most times this is an easy fix. If there is no clicking during handle raising, I would then check to see if your brake lights are on when in the park position and if they are then it can be a simple fix. Either way, the brake handles on the XJS convertible, in particular, gets stuck because too many times it is pulled up too far then becomes difficult to disengage and most of us forget to press in the button. So first see if the brake lights are on when in park.

Then in the down position, press in hard on the button and then pull up until you hear and or feel the brake release, and then you should be back in a proper function stage. Always be sure to press in the button after lowering the top to fully disengage the brakes. I recommend when pulling on the hand brake to drop the top, only pull just a few clicks to engage. Too many people pull on the handle so hard as if they had a brake failure and you are trying to stop the car before you come to a railroad crossing. So when dropping the top take a chill pill and ever so gently lift the handle like the cool cat in town who drives an XJS and not like a gladiator driving one of those trucks that are so high that you have to book a flight just to get into the thing! So if my advice does not work, I am hanging a sign on the door that says, gone fishing.


  • Hi, Where do I find the parking brake sensor please….(1995 4l)

  • I experienced this similarly, I had my mechanic disconnect this parking brake sensor. Now no worries. No need to apply the hand brake.

    Bob Clark
  • Excellant


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