Electronic or e parking brakes used to be a thing of expensive cars in the past, but manufacturers have now started offering this feature in some of their mass-market also.
Parking Brake – A braking mechanism, which when employed holds the car in place it is parked. Generally, parking brakes can be used with the help of a big-strong lever that has two wires connected to it, and when the lever is pulled, the fulcrum effort of the action tightens to wires to engage the brakes on rear wheels. This being the mechanism and concept of parking brakes, we should understand that in this age where electronic modules are taking over the human skillset and mechanical counterparts, parking brakes are also racing to future as cars now come with electronic or e parking brake. But, what are they? And, how do they perform? Hold on, all of it is needs a read.
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How does the e parking brake work?
An electronic parking brake incorporates a small hinged switch in place of a hinged lever in comparison to the contemporary mechanical parking brake. To engage the parking brake, the switch needs to be pulled upwards and to disengage the switch needs to be pushed down, technically the same way as the mechanical handbrakes are operated. However, there is no mechanical contact between the electronic brake switch and the rear brake drums or callipers; instead, an electronic actuator takes care of actuating the master cylinders for the parking brake at the rear wheels. Since electronic brakes also offer the added functionality of anti-rollback function when rolling the car uphill after a stop, they callipers or master cylinders are different than the primary brake system of the car. That said, the electronic parking brake offers another convenience of auto hold and release for the brakes when navigating through stop-and-go traffic. The hold function is also achieved as a conjunctional output of actuators and sensors placed around the motors and callipers.
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Is e parking brake better than conventional version?
Yes! E parking brakes are shoved with a few vital advantages over the conventional mechanical parking brakes. Electronic parking brakes offer no mechanical slip, thus hold the car firmly. They do offer the option of auto engage and disengage, and also there’s a lot of free space in the interior of the car, which can be utilized in a much better way.
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Do e parking brake offer any cons as such?
Yes! The handbrake is a very simple mechanical setup and there isn’t much that goes into it, thus is it an easy job to fix if anything goes wrong. However, for enthusiasts like us, the electronic parking brakes fail to excite us since they fail at making drivers go bonkers at turns by making J-turns. So trying to be the Ken Block in a vacant-wide parking lot is something not possible.
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What all manufacturers use these?
Electronic parking brakes used to be an expensive convenience feature, but it is now readily available in almost every car that comes with an automatic transmission. Some manufacturers also provide them in a car with manual transmission too, like the Honda Civic. Now cars like MG Hector, Kia Seltos, and the likes are some of the few cheapest cars, which offer the added convenience of the electronic parking brakes.
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Should I consider e parking brakes over the regular handbrakes?
Given that, we have discussed the pros and cons of electronic parking brakes over their mechanical substitute we think the decision is better left to your use. If having a little fun over the added comfort is your take, opt for a manual handbrake. But if all you need is one less task to perform, opt for the electronic parking brakes.