If you only read one article about electronic Parking Brakes, make it this one!
Published December 20th, 2016
Electronic parking brakes are a common sight in cars these days and drivers enjoy the convenience of being able to stop and release the carat the touch of a button. But behind this deceptively simple mechanism is an intricate system of electronic cables and wires that shouldn’t be meddled with.
If you drive a car with an electronic parking brake and want to fix it yourself or you’re planning on buying a car that offers this feature, you need to understand how an electronic parking brake works and what the consequences of tampering with it are.
Electronic parking brakes operate independently of the car’s general braking system, replacing a lever and cable mechanism with a simple switch powered by hidden wires. Drivers can take off by pressing a switch or touching their foot to the pedal. Electronic parking brakes help you take off on an incline and act as an emergency brake should your brakes fail.
There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of a system without understanding how it works. The problem only comes in when something goes wrong and needs to be fixed. You should keep this in mind if you’re considering saving a few dollars and playing mechanic.
Your electronic parking brake’s brake callipers are attached to an electronic motor which controls the pressure applied to your brake pads. So when any amendments or checks need to be made the car must first be placed in service mode and then the motor retracted using a specialised diagnostic scan tool. If your battery dies you will also have to open your car up and manually release the cable tension.
Many people buy a car with an electronic parking brake, not aware that they will need to consult a professional for all its maintenance and fixes and that you shouldn’t tinker under the hood with this complex system. It’s something that is really best left to experts as damage or injury can easily occur.
So before you purchase a car with an electronic parking brake or worse, tamper with it, ask yourself if the time, money and wasted effort is really worth it, when you could easily just head to your nearest ABS Auto for assistance.