Today it is more exotic to buy a new car with the traditional one hand brake that with the electric handbrake and although for tastes, the colors, the truth is that it has its pros and cons. Although the correct name is to call it a parking brake, either manual or electric, we are going to use its colloquial name and add the electric or not on some occasions.
The classic handbrake by lever, It is an element that is sadly in danger of extinction and unless we forget some, today you can only find a handful of new cars with it and among them we find the Ford Mustang, the Mazda MX-5, the Volksagen UP !, the SEAT Ibiza, the Toyota GR Yaris, the SEAT Arona, the Dacia Duster, the Toyota Land Cruiser, the Suzuki Jimny, the Fiat 500L and some other commercial.
The arrival and expansion in the use of electrically operated parking brakes has changed the gesture of “pulling the lever” completely and is that now it is enough to “Pull or press a button” to apply the parking brake.
Now, with the exception of a few, the parking brake is being replaced by a «finger brake» that is activated by pressing a button or activator similar to the one used in the windows, so pressing we will release the brake and pulling towards above we will activate the brake.
This system has given “wings” to other aids such as deactivating the electric brake When we started the march, the assistant on slopes with greater generalization -before it was carried by many fewer cars- and much more, however, is it as good as they say or make us see?
The truth is that you do not give importance to these things until you have an acquaintance to whom you They ask for almost 800 euros to repair an electric handbrake system, an exaggeration if we take into account that the strangest thing that had to be done to a car without this electrical mechanism, was a tensioning and no, it was not expensive.
If you are looking for an opinion, at the end of the article you will find something similar but to get into the material, it is best that we go on to see how this system works.
How does the electric parking brake work?
Rather than start talking about electric parking brakes, we should explain how a conventional parking brake works.
To give you more or less an idea, the handbrakes were very simple and when we pulled the lever, we tightened two cables, one for each wheel. What this cable did was pulling a piece that held the brake pads to the discs or the shoes to the drums. With this action the rear wheels were locked and the car was immobilized.
In the case of electric parking brakes, the system replaces the traditional steel cable of the parking brake with an electric cable that sends a signal to two electric motors located in each of the calipers. These motors drive pinions and that’s the noise you hear when you activate or deactivate an electric parking brake.
If we look at the fact that I come across a case in which they ask for a fortune for a repair of this system, we must attend to the fact that electric parking brakes are not only more expensive, but also they can break in many more places by having a lot of parts, many of them electronic and electrical.
Advantages and disadvantages of the electric handbrake
Disadvantages of the electric parking brake
– It is a much more complex, sophisticated and expensive system and the breakdowns that may arise from it are more complex, sophisticated and expensive.
– In the event of an electrical or battery failure, there is a system to “release the brake” but for this you must refer to the car’s user manual.
– If you need to operate the brake, it is more complex to find and more complex to operate and it is not instantaneous, you have to pull the button for a few seconds to activate it.
– Unlike the traditional handbrake, in this one we will not be able to activate the emergency brake gradually.
– Maintenance as simple as changing the pads requires very specific diagnostic tools.
Advantages of the electric parking brake
– Manufacturers opt for these systems to free up space in the transmission tunnel, since the electric handbrake takes up less space. This point is rebuttable if we think that some brands installed a parking brake that was activated with the foot and deactivated by means of a lever located on the left side of the steering wheel.
– The electric parking brake offers greater comfort and is that it allows to automate the activation and deactivation when we turn off the engine or start it.
Although it is a personal decision, as you can see, the electric parking brake has more disadvantages than advantages and this is something that everyone has to value.
It is more expensive, so the car that we are going to buy will be more expensive and also its maintenance and possible repair, but aesthetically it looks more modern and is accompanied by other advantages and functionalities.
Are you lever or button?
Images | Mazda, Audi, CG