Electric Parking Brake

Electric parking brakes (EPB) offer the consumer the convenience of placing the parking break anywhere in the car and more vehicle safety, and reduce the human error of forgetting to engage the parking brake. Not only does this promote comfort for the driver, it also is more comfortable and allows for more interior design options. Some of these models even have an emergency brake option. These devices work by communicating with the computer in your car, and the electric parking brake releases upon acceleration so you need not worry about disengaging your parking brake when you take off. This is a great device to use on hills, and it will even alert you when your brake pads are worn down. Because of the inter-system communication, there is no chance of the brake erroneously being engaged, and there's even a function that automatically engages the parking brake as soon as the driver's door opens.

EPBs are just now entering the market, and because they consist of fewer parts they are easier for manufacturers to use and they improve the performance of the vehicle. While EPBs are starting out as appearing in luxury cars only, they will eventually spread to all new models of cars out there. The Controller Area Network computer system, which communicates with EPBs, are required in all cars made in 2008 and onward. These electric parking brakes are activated with the push of a button and many can be integrated with your car's security system. While those who live in hilly areas will care more about electric parking brakes than the rest of the population, many car owners prefer to engage the parking brake even in flat parking situations.

There are two types of EPB -- one that hooks up to a single engine, and another than hooks up to each engine on the rear calipers. The latter method is considered pretty high maintenance. Be sure whoever is installing your EPB is knowledgeable in the installation and operation of the system as it relates to your vehicle.

Read on to find a few examples of the leading electric parking brakes:

TRW Automotive offers what it claims is the first EPB to hit the market. Not only is it a parking brake, there is an emergency brake function available for four-wheel ABS when you combine it with an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. This device removed the need for the traditional parking brake lever. Features include drive away assist, hill hold, brake wear sensing, interface with accelerator, and functionality when the driver door is open.

Continental-Teves' EPB includes an electric controller and electro-mechanical actuator. Its features include improved safety, simplified operation, the absence of hand or feet levers, a diagnostic system, easy installation, simple engagement, emergency braking, and connectability with ESC. Their electro-hydraulic brake is an alternative to the EPB and saves space. It is installed into the brake caliper and includes the electronic brake system, but also can use its own pressure to help operate the device. This removes all mechanical transmission parts and condenses the weight and packaging of your electric parking brake system. Both systems offer automated adjusting, hill start assist, automated vehicle hold, parking assistance with sensor and vehicle disengagement.

Aisin jointly developed Japan's first EPB with Toyota Motor Corporation. The EPB allows shift engagement and helps prevent the human error of forgetting to use your parking brake. When integrated with ECB, the Asin EPB has the hill start capability. The EPB also is credited for saving space in the make-up of the vehicle.

Also look out for the EPBs by Siemens VDO, Bosch and Delphi, which are joining the race.

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  1. Hi. I need to replace a RV mechnical hand brake with a EPB . Do you have a solution ? Thanks