Electric parking brake: what it is and how it works

Electric parking brake- what it is and how it works

A car’s handbrake is a wheel-locking mechanism designed to keep the vehicle stationary. This is the quintessential handbrake, the mechanical handbrake, which is fitted to every vehicle on the market. However, over time, this mechanism has evolved, giving rise to the electric handbrake.

The mechanical handbrake works with a lever that pulls a cable. This cable causes the brake shoes or pads to act on the brake drum or disc, preventing the rear wheels sof the car from turning.

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Electric parking brake- what it is and how it works 1

The handbrake system is one of the vehicle 's active safety systems, causing it to slow down, stop and immobilize when stationary or parked. Today, the mechanical handbrake system has given way to the electric handbrake.

If you want to know more about this type of brake, don’t miss this post by Frenkit where we explain what the electric handbrake is and how it works.


What is the electric parking brake

The electric parking brake or EPB consists of the actuation of a button (instead of a lever) which, through an electrical signal sent by the control unit, activates a mechanism, locking the car’s brakes.

This is an increasingly common system in cars, which makes it more convenient for the driver to operate it. This is due to the fact that the place previously occupied by the lever in the central part is used for other compartments, delegating the handbrake function to a single button.


How the electric parking brake works

As mentioned above, the operation of the electric parking brake is based on the actuation of a button that locks the vehicle's brakes. However, there are two different types of electric parking brake operation:

Servomotor-operated electric parking brake

It works with a small electric motor placed in each brake caliper that locks each of the wheels. All Frenkit products related to the EPB are for this type of electric parking brake.

Electric parking brake- what it is and how it works 2

Wire-operated electric parking brake

It works by means of a motor that tightens the wire and allows the mechanism to be operated on each wheel.

As we can see, whichever system the vehicle uses, the principle is the same: pulling the lever locks the rear wheels so that the car does not move when we want it to be immobilized.

Electronic parking brakes work on the same premise, except that they use electric motors to achieve the effect. If you push or pull the button, the rear brake motors press the brake pads onto the discs or the brake shoes onto the drum brake.


Components of the electric parking brake system

All the components of the electric parking brake system are linked together via the Controller Area Network (CAN), a communications protocol developed by Bosch and used by most manufacturers. These are the main components involved in the operation of the EPB:

  1. Actuating button. The device by means of which the electric parking brake can be manually activated and deactivated.
  2. Control unit. Receives the EPB actuation signal (manual or automatic) and processes it to send the information to the braking system.
  3. Antilock Braking System (ABS). This unit enables safe and efficient braking. It receives information from different vehicle units (wheel sensors, brake pedal switch, traction controls, etc.) and processes it to adjust and achieve the optimum braking level.
  4. Sensors (clutch and accelerator). They send information to the other components for processing.
  5. Bowden wire. This component is used in electric brake systems with wire actuation. They are responsible for actuating the brakes.
  6. Servomotors or electric motors. Actuators that drive the plunger to actuate the brake calipers.
  7. Rear brake elements. Whether drums or calipers, they act according to the information received from the control unit.

The advantages of the electric parking brake are many and it is so easy to use. At Frenkit, brake part distributors, we have new electric parking brake kits for vehicles. Discover our range of electric hand brakes.

And whether you need your car repaired, in a professional workshop or on your own, you can find everything you need in our car brakes catalogue.

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