What is Electronic Parking Brake (EPB)?
When packing your vehicle, there are two ways to make it stay put; either shift the manual transmission into gear or set a parking brake. Mostly, a driver does both, but either way can do the job.
To many people, an electronic parking brake (EBP) is a new feature in their car. Therefore, knowing how the system works can go a long way when conducting a system repair.
Primarily, the traditional handbrake has a straightforward mechanism; when you pull the level up and the cables, the rear brakes are pulled, squeezing the brake drum. An electronic parking brake replaces this mechanism with an electronic one, which means that your car will stay intact when moving backward when parked. In essence, the EPB system has been there since early 2000. Initially, they arrived with little fanfare, but today, there are solid reasons why almost every automotive manufacturers are adopting the new technology. The improved system makes the brake operation control optimal and accordant with the road gradient when stopping the car.
How does the Electronic Parking brake works?
Unlike the traditional handbrake where the driver pulls the level, in EBP, the driver presses a switch. The switch then sends a command to the electronic brake module.
The module senses that the parking brakes need operating then sends a command to actuators in the brake calipers. Thus, the brake pads are forced on the brake disc, thereby restricting the wheels’ movement.
Due to the electronic mechanism, this system’s operation is instantaneous and undoubtfully very efficient. You can easily hear a reassuring whirring of the motor as soon as you pull or press the button. The brakes are more reliable than traditional ones since there is no mechanical connection involved.
Different types of Electronic Parking Brake
There are different types of Electronic Parking Brake. The most common includes:
The Cable-Pull systems
The cable-operated parking brakes are essentially a development of the traditional levels. As soon as the driver presses the switch, the internally threaded gears pull the cable, squeezing the brake drum. These are typically not very common, but you are likely to find this system in Lexus lS 460, Jaguar X-type, some BMW models, and lang Rovers.
Electronically-hydraulic brake caliper system
This type is not fully electronic, and it’s primarily designed for the use of a hydraulic brake system. Its mechanism is the same as any other EPB, but in this model, there is a hydraulic pressure generation, electronic control, and pressure regulation in one.
Unlike the traditional model, this type is electronically locked without the need for hydraulics pressure as soon as the switch activates the parking brake.
These are a fully electric system using a motor and a gearbox. The two apply pressure on the pad and hence on the brake disc.
In essence, the critical component in these types of EPB is the parking brake latch that prevents pressure in the piston from rotating the motor, therefore keeping the brake applied.
- The response time for EPB is very short.
- EPB also has some other automated functions.
- The operational is quite reliable.
- It improves the vehicle control event when at a standstill condition on a slope.
- Given its convenience, the system is rather costly.
- Besides, you will need a professional to have the brake pads changed.
- By themselves, the EBP system isn’t strong enough to stop vehicles quickly, but they will definitely hold it.
The bottom line
Although the system is costly, they are very convenient compared to traditional cumbersome levels. The tiny switch will free up the drive space and give a vital convenience such as more space for the cup holder or audio system. It is definitely, a simple but intelligent system for any car model.
When conducting a repair, it is essential to know that working on them is convenient and safe. Read the car manufacturer’s manual or at the system suppliers’ website and understand your car’s other systems as well. Remember, the critical drivers for EPB are functions, comfort, and safety.