The electronic handbrake is said to be safer and more comfortable according to the manufacturers, but many motorists have difficulty with it. An American mechanic explains why he thinks the systems are stupid and dangerous.
Almost all modern vehicles come with an electronic parking brake. The mechanical handbrake slowly moves towards the car museum. The main reason is that it just takes up too much space. But not everyone is happy about it; sometimes you have to pull to unlock it, sometimes push it, sometimes it unlocks automatically when you drive away and not with another car.
In addition to a pull or push button, the electric handbrake consists of actuators. After an electrical impulse, they lock the rear axle, so that a car cannot roll away. So you don’t have to pull a lever forcefully, which is simple and elegant according to car manufacturers. But the well-known American car mechanic and Youtuber Scotty Kilmer does not believe that these parking brake systems are any better. A Subaru owner recently shared an experience with Kilmer that got him thinking about the danger of the electronic handbrake.
Subaru with failing electrical system
The Subaru owner was driving uphill when his car’s electrical system failed. The car was equipped with an electronic parking brake, which therefore no longer worked. He had to hold down the brake by stepping on the pedal with his foot, which prevented him from leaving the vehicle. Fortunately, a passerby helped the Subaru owner by putting some stones behind the wheels. In this way he prevented the Subaru from going downhill quickly.
According to Kilmer, electric handbrakes can serve as an emergency backup, but in cases like the one described above, he says they are useless. He also thinks that the new handbrakes are no better than the old ones. He also advises people involved in accidents to sue the companies that make them. He thinks that this way it is possible to get the old-fashioned handbrake back in the car.
No more handbrake slip possible
If you think Scotty is exaggerating the issue, be sure to read some of the comments below the video. These prove how important it is – if you’re still keen to replace some analog stuff in a vehicle with electronics – to at least have a backup in case the electrical system malfunctions. In the flat Netherlands it will not be such a speed with deaths as a result of cars falling into the ravine due to malfunctioning electronics. The fact that you can no longer perform a handbrake slip with an electronic handbrake is more likely to save lives here.
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