Which is better, electric or lever handbrake?

Which is better, electric or lever handbrake_

The days of the lever-operated parking brake are numbered. It is becoming more common to see that new car models now have electrically operated parking brakes, also known as Electric Parking Brake (EPB). Except on rare occasions, few new vehicles can be found today with a lever-operated parking brake, whereas just a few years ago it was rare to see an electric parking brake.

In this Frenkit post, we analyse the characteristics of each one of them and we tell you which one is better: the electric parking brake or the lever handbrake. Are you going to miss it?

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Vehicle parking handbrakes

The advent of the electric parking brake has been a game changer for many drivers when it comes to replacing the gesture of ‘pulling the lever’ upwards. Now a simple push of a button is all it takes to apply the handbrake. Let’s take a closer look at each of them below:

Mechanical parking brake

The mechanical or lever handbrake is operated by a lever located near the driver’s seat. This lever is connected to the brake system by means of a linkage and a cable. When the lever is lifted, pressure is applied at a distance to the caliper, which immobilises the rear wheels and immobilises the car.

Among the most common breakdowns are the following:

  • It does not perform its function. In most cases it can be a problem of one of the parts, but it can also be due to poor condition, so the problem should be solved as soon as possible.
  • It is difficult to lift the lever. This may be due to worn cables, pads and other components.
  • The indicator light does not come on. This last problem is due to a blown bulb, which needs to be replaced with a new one.

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Electric parking brake

The electric parking brake or EPB (Electric Parking Brake) consists of the actuation of a button instead of a lever. This, by means of an electrical signal sent by the control unit, activates a handbrake mechanism, locking the car’s brakes. This system makes it more convenient for the driver to activate it. This is because the space occupied by the brake lever can be used for other compartments, thus delegating the handbrake function to a single button.

There are two types of operation of the electric parking brake:

  • Cable-operated. It works by means of a motor that tightens the cable and allows the mechanism of each wheel to be driven.
  • Servomotor-operated. Thanks to a small motor incorporated in each brake caliper, the wheels are blocked. At Frenkit, all our products related to the EPB are for this type of electric parking brake.

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Lever-operated handbrake vs. electric parking brake

Vehicle automation is a thing of the present, as it offers greater ease and advancement when it comes to newly manufactured cars. Here are the most important differences that can be found between the most common and well-known types of braking systems on the market:

Handbrake lever

  • No electrical systems are required. If the lever brake breaks down and has to be inspected by a professional, it does not require specific and complex diagnostic tools to repair the lever. In the case of the electric brake this is the reverse, as it is a more complex system, the cost can be higher and the repair more sophisticated.
  • Allows the vehicle to be used when the battery is dead. If our car runs out of battery, the lever brake system allows us to push the car off the road without any problems.

Electric parking brake

  • It has automatic activation. In the event of the vehicle moving while stationary, such as when parked on a hill, the EPB automatically locks to prevent the car from moving.
  • Emergency braking. During emergency braking, the EPB will provide greater control by working in conjunction with the ABS system to prevent the vehicle from skidding.
  • Hill-start assist is available. The electric parking brake is activated a few seconds earlier when it recognises that the car is on a slope.
  • Convenience when it comes to applying force. Sometimes it can be more difficult to pull up the manual brake lever, but with the electric handbrake a simple push of a button is all it takes.

The EPB system offers the driver certain safety and comfort advantages that a manual braking system does not. In addition, the electric parking brake system provides the driver with a confidence that makes it an indispensable and future-proof element.

At Frenkit, we specialize in the manufacture and distribution of brake components for light vehicles. So, if you want to find out more about our products, visit our website! You will be able to access a wide catalogue with a wide range of repair kits and products for brake systems.

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