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Hand brake button

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,910
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Hand brake button

Clearly I am out of touch with some of the changes in today's modern cars.

My daughter recently purchased a car which used a button in place of the handbrake, I assumed she was winding me up but it seems a number of car manufactures use them.

The button electronically presses the pads against the disk and automatically releases them when the car moves forward so hill starts are a thing of the past.

Changing of the pads is a garage rather than a DIY job.

Personally I would rather have the old fashioned hand brake which uses a cable but does anyone have a car with this facility and if so what do you think of it ?

10 REPLIES
Denny
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Re: Hand brake button

Seen it quite alot on French cars. The fact that it's and electric handbrake on a French car didn't fill me with confidence.

Community Gaffer
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Re: Hand brake button

I've got an fairly new A4 and it's the same. I don't drive a lot but when I do, I've struggled to get on with how much new cars try and do for you. The lack of tactile feedback, where there's a button rather than a traditional handbrake, is one of the things I particularly struggled with Undecided

Bob Pullen
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Re: Hand brake button

I had cause to drive my son's 'C' class Mercedes diesel.

Where I would expect to find a gear stick and handbrake there was a 3 button mouse Shocked

The car is an automatic and 3 or 4 times I found myself with my left foot on the clutch pedal and my left hand on the mouse.

Fortunately none of the low speed sudden stops resulted in a rear end shunt.

I was glad to get behind the wheel my manual box Focus.

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Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Hand brake button

Electronic/Electric Parking Brake they are generally called and becoming almost universal.

Many cars with them have semi-automatic systems to engage and disengage them as well, so in some cases you can almost ignore them.

Personally I loathe them. Ticked off

Community Veteran
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Registered: 16-10-2014

Re: Hand brake button

My Jag has an electric hand brake and would go on automagically when the ignition turned off and off when you took off, so there is no real interaction with it. My son's Insignia also has one but in order to release it you must have your foot on the pedal brake, which makes good sense, but lets itself down as you have to put it on manually. I've been meaning to see if there was a firmware change that would allow it to be put on when the ignition was turned off but haven't really looked.

Either way, I don't really care for them, by pulling on your own hand brake I think gives a feeling of well being that is missing from electric ones.

Community Veteran
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Re: Hand brake button

As much as i love techy gadgets like that the first question that springs to my mind is how on earth do you use the electronic handbrake if you have a flat battery and need to push the car (eg a bump start) ?

 

We've got an astra thats automatic. When you keep your foot on the brakes for a couple of seconds the gearbox goes into neutral. Great.. it's saving wear.. but if you're on a steep hill and need to move off then taking your foot off the brakes is rather daunting to say the least. I think you can all imagine the trouble caused if the gearbox doesn't re-engage...

On a similar note, you have to have the ignition on and press the brake pedal before it will let you move the gear shift out of park. Great.. for deterring theives.. but again if you got a flat.. you got to pull half the cabin apart to release a little lever that locks the gear shift. Seems like more hassle than its worth!

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Re: Hand brake button


7up wrote:

As much as i love techy gadgets like that the first question that springs to my mind is how on earth do you use the electronic handbrake if you have a flat battery and need to push the car (eg a bump start) ?

A very good question - so I checked - and the answer is "you can't"

However just how flat does the battery need to be for the release not to work given that in most cases the problem relates to there not being enough juice to turn the engine over. In the case where the battery is totally flat then a bump start won't work either as there isn't enough juice to power the ignition system

Of course with a standard automatic you can't bump start them either - so who always carries a set of jump leads (me when the battery was a bit dodgy)


 

randpwar
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Re: Hand brake button

We’ve been looking at buying a second hand car just lately and were warned off the Megane owing to many occurrences of the electric brake continuing to try to wind the brakes on and draining the battery. Looking at forums on the subject it appears to be a common issue

Community Veteran
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Re: Hand brake button

I have one of those button thingamajigs on my 2012 Audi A6.  They work just fine, though it takes a while to get used to them after a lifetime of proper handbrakes.  You can't assume they always work as you'd like, particularly on hill starts where a slight movement uphill releases the brake and it doesn't automatically reapply unless you either put your foot on the brake pedal (ie take your foot off the accelerator) or operate the "button" manually.

All said and done, I like the feature.

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Re: Hand brake button


Oldjim wrote:

Of course with a standard automatic you can't bump start them either - so who always carries a set of jump leads (me when the battery was a bit dodgy)


 


Yeah i'm like that now.. the renaults battery is fubar and the bonnet cables are known for snapping.. so i'm now mulling over fitting some extension terminals from the battery to the front of the bumper somewhere so that i can just clip the leads on and be done with it without opening the engine bay each time i need to get into the garage (car is used as a garage defender at present).

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