What is an Electronic Parking Brake?
Automobile manufacturers are constantly working to make their customers’ daily driving easier. One of the current examples of this is the electronic parking brake. Many manufacturers have started to use more modern and less labor-intensive electronic parking brakes instead of traditional arm-based hand brakes.
How Electronic Parking Brake Works?
The operating logic of a conventional handbrake is quite easy – you pull the lever up and tighten the brakes with two wires to each of the rear brakes. By adding tension to these cables, the brake pads will tighten the discs (or drums) to firmly secure the rear wheels in place. Some cars with disc brakes have separate disc brake calipers (brake centers) for the handbrake.
Simply put, the electronic parking brake applies an electric brake instead of this mechanical system. By pressing the button, the motors in each brake caliper clamp the pads to the disk. When the button is pressed (or pulled) you hear the sound of the mechanism in the brake calipers. This means that your vehicle is now firmly fixed and will not move. However, it may not sound as safe as a conventional handbrake.
Simply move the vehicle to release the electronic parking brake. It is usually disabled automatically when you want to move your vehicle. On some models, when you first start the car, you need to put your foot on the brake and push (or pull) to disable the electronic hand brake. Then you can start acting as if you have lowered the normal handbrake.
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Electronic Parking Brake Disadvantages?
If you are a keen do-it-yourself lover, you might be disappointed – since the handbrake is powered by electricity, you will need to visit a professional to replace the brake pads. Usually, you will need a (fairly expensive) diagnostic laptop to open the brake calipers so you can remove the pads.
In addition, even though young car enthusiasts do not approve of it, they will miss the opportunity to engage the handbrake and have some fun with electronic parking brake on a snowy road. The little getaways that adrenaline junkie young drivers can do by handbraking in a snowy parking lot will be a thing of the past. Because you cannot activate electronic parking brakes while on the move.
Many cars with an electronic handbrake have a hill start assist function that prevents the vehicle from coming back on steep gradients. This means that you can easily take off on inclined roads where you stop each time.
Some models – especially more modern Volkswagen – have an auto hold feature. This detects when you arrive at an intersection point or come to traffic lights and holds the brakes down for you. In this way, you do not have to keep your feet on the brake. The brakes are released after you press the clutch or start to accelerate and accelerate on automatic vehicles.
Electronic parking brakes are definitely very useful. Since this system does not have a physical cable to the rear brakes, it means that you will not encounter a situation such as the cable that breaks down over time in conventional hand brakes. It also greatly improves the interior of the car. With a large handle from the center console, space will be freed up for other things like extra storage space, cup holders or more buttons!
Handbrake is a very important system, so it is natural that new electric models are suspicious. However, the electronic parking brake is indeed one of the things that turns into the secondary nature of the traditional handbrake – just like all good tools. With the developing technology, more efficient systems can be produced with less cost. Electronic parking brake is one of the best examples of this.