Symptoms of excessive shoe or pad gap is excessive brake pedal drop, pedal can go nearly to the floor. By releasing the pedal, will come up if you fan the brake pedal, pushing to the floor, releasing it, than rapidly hit it again.
Had to do this on my Cruze when the rear disc calipers refused to ratchet. With disc, car parked, all you have to do is to work the hand parking brake lever if they are working right, leave your foot off the pedal, maybe ten times, holding that button in, should get a full pedal.
With drums, have to back up, 2 mph is good and tap on the brake pedal. When doing a brake job always leave excessive gap in either the pads or the shoes. Working the hand brake with disc should bring that brake pedal up. With shoes, on my long declined driveway, just roll backwards hit the brake, stop, let it roll, then hit it again, brake pedal should come up.
Of course you look back, don't want to run over your own kids. When doing this with my kids vehicles, make darn sure my grandkids are in the house with grandma, don't let them out.
Now if this doesn't work to bring up the brake pedal, you have problems, with disc, first thing to check is that the levers are going to the home position, Cruze does use a self adjusting handbrake, really do not like this, a nut worked perfectly find, if you have excessive play, only thing to do is to replace the handbrake lever assembly, really not that expensive. If the rear caliper levers are returning to the home position, only option is to replace the calipers. This was my problem, they refused to ratchet. Is like a ratchet wrench, you have to reverse it far enough until it clicks, before it will engage the next tooth, this actually rotates the piston in the caliper on a screw, so it moves outwards. If the piston turns freely, the ratcheting mechanism is broke, only choice is to replace them. Chevy did this for me, second season, after a three month battle. Do run around 150 bucks each.
With drums, a lot easier, the shoes have got to move freely up and down and sideways, worse point is the lower anchors, does trap rust, that can be wired brush off and coated with anti-seize, nothing works better than this, that black brake grease is next to worthless, only good for a month or two. Other point is where the shoe contacts the backing plate, and where they slide into that notch on the wheel cylinder. Adjuster that thing with that toothed gear must work free. If badly rusted, dump it, not too expensive. Again the best lubricant for the threads is anti-seize, rust is the major problem. Even worse since our lovely EPA banned electroplating in our country. Either Mexico, even worse China, does a poor job.
Really not rocket science, when there is excessive play, that rear shoe goes back far enough that that little stamped steel tang on the rear shoe goes high enough to engage the next highest tooth on the adjuster. Bit more complicated with the geometry, but only happens when you are backing up.
One reason why on older GM vehicles, using that large U spring, had a lot more tension than these little coil springs, so can bet by with more shoe draq. Admittedly, had to use a large pair of channel locks and both hands to put that spring back on, sat on a stool, with my elbows on my legs to get more leverage.
Ha, with my 88 Supra, all I have to do is to pump the brake pedal, no handbrake to work, no backing up, wish all cars were this way. One hint to GM and others, that patent is long ago expired. Rear calipers are in the ten buck range, but like to rebuild them myself for four bucks.
Yet another problem with a low brake pedal, that piston with two rubber O'rings goes further forward where it has never been before with rust that wrecks those rubber rings. So you end up with a leaking master cylinder. Use to be a buck for new rings, also a boot on the rear. Do have a hone for this, one time they wanted more for these pieces of rubber than the price of a new OE master cylinder. On my 92 DeVille, no choice but to buy a new master cylinder, around a 120 bucks. Supra was 29 bucks for three pieces of rubber, but had to be done.
Ha, often make the comment, don't have to drive down to South Chicago in a dark alley to get robbed, just at my parts supplier places.