Car Electronic Handbrake (Pros and Cons Analysis)

by IndianAuto Team | 15/07/2018
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Currently, the electronic handbrake is gradually being applied on most cars, especially the luxury cars, so what are the advantages and disadvantages of using electronic handbrake? You can find the answer to this question after the information that we’ll provide as bellows.

1. What is the electronic handbrake?

Basically, the electronic handbrake’s function is similar to a conventional handbrake. However, it is fully-automatic controlled, which means that it would timely prevent the consequence of forgetting to pull and release the driver’s handbrake. Electronic handbrake could ensure the safety and wholeness of the car.

The electronic handbrake

The electronic handbrake has dominant advantages over the conventional one

Unlike the conventional handbrake, the electronic handbrake uses a motor to perform braking and brake releasing. Thus, the driver will control handbrake through a P-shaped button instead of pulling handbrake as normal.

2. How to pull the brake?

For most vehicles equipped with electronic handbrake, for example, models from high-end names such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Range Rover or some popular cars like Mitsubishi Pajero Sport All New, Hyundai Santa Fe, Mazda CX-5, to stop, the driver will put the gear shift to the position P or N. The system will automatically stop without pulling the brake as usual. This feature reduces the risk of forgetting to pull the handbrake.

Besides, in case the gearshift is located in other positions, if you want to pull the handbrake, you need to pedal the brake. After that, you have to pull the button P up and the system will adjust to brake.

3. How to know whether the handbrake is activated or not?

There will be an electronic brake light which will signal the operation of the braking system. When the light is on, the electric handbrake is activated and if the light is off, this feature is disabled.  

 activated handbrake sign

Signs to know whether the handbrake is activated or not

4. How to release the handbrake?

Basically, when you want to release the electronic brake, you need to push the brake then press the button P to control handbrake down. At this time, the handbrake warning light will signal that the handbrake has been released. This operation helps you avoid slipping when you release the handbrake but forget to pedal the brake.

In addition, the electronic handbrake can automatically unlock when you take reverse gear or forward gear and pedal the brake. Therefore, in case you forget to release the handbrake and still make the car move forwards, the system will automatically unlock to avoid hard stop, brake burning and protect transmission system.


You need to pedal the brake then press the button P to control handbrake down

5. Advantages of electronic handbrake in comparison with traditional handbrake

As mentioned above, it is clear that the electronic handbrake brings a number of advantages. Moreover, it also plays important role in protecting mechanical parts.

In terms of design, the electronic handbrake saves space for interior space by replacing the usual handbrake with a small button. Thanks to its compact size, car makers can easily design a more modern and glamorous compartment.

The electronic handbrake improves control of the vehicle when starting the engine on a slope. It is hard to move down a slope, however, with the help of an electric handbrake, you could kick off easily just by pressing the brake pedal while pulling up the button P and then press the gas.

What’s more, the operation of e-handbrake is highly reliable. There is little chance for errors to happen with the electronic handbrake. And it only takes seconds for the system to respond, which shows how responsive the electric handbrake is.

Last but not least, with the help of the e-handbrake, your car could avoid the jammed brake and be better at hard brake which is usually the result of the poor-maintained braking system.

the e-handbrake

The operation of e-handbrake is highly reliable and it takes you a short time to wait for a response time of this system

6. Some drawbacks of electronic handbrake

With rea comfort and safety, the e-handbrake obviously has more advantages over the conventional handbrake. However, when it comes to the durability of e-handbrake, most technicians agree that the electronic parts usually have a lower life expectancy than mechanical parts. Moreover, electronic systems often cost more to repair.

In addition, the electronic handbrake could not work without a proper-functioning battery. It could cause the inconvenience for drivers when the battery doesn't operate. 

To effectively use the e-handbrake as well as to extend the life expectancy of the car, you should not let the car move while the electric handbrake indicator is on. Besides, when the e-handbrake system is working, there might be some abnormalities such as noise or vibration felt on the brake pedal. However, it is totally normal and you do not need to worry about that.

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