Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - PoloGirl
Give me an old fashioned handbrake any day.

Ex-colleague of Andy's had had his brand new Passat just days when the parking brake refused to come off. Andy's had his about four months and 12,000 miles, and yesterday his parking brake refused to go ON. I received a forlorn text this morning saying he'd watched it go away on a VW Assist recovery truck! On the plus side, I think he's enjoying the the brand new Golf he's got to play in while they fix it - makes a change from the huuuuge Passat Estate that I can't drive without breaking out in a cold sweat!

What's the point of electronic parking brakes? Is it a coincidence that the two people I know who've had brand new Passats have both had the same issue?

Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - wontane
>>Electric parking brake fails to release fairly often. Worse on incline. Fails at least one in four. <<

Statement above is from HJ's CBCB.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - wontane

I think the one in four remark applies to the experience of one owner and not 25% of all Passats.
But it is happening to others.

I think hand brakes are the designers new play thing. If they are not making them electric they are making them look like some kind of aircraft lever (S-Max, Astra, etc)
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Quicksilver
Have driven quite a few Renault and VW group cars with the electric handbrake mainly on mainland Europe. Hated all of them. However, at least on the VW group cars you could choose not to apply the handbrake when you turned the engine off. This is not true on the Renault cars. I am used to handbrakes seizing on in cold weather so I choose, where I can, not to use them where it is safe to do so. Leaving in 1st gear or ?P? seems to help avoid many problems.

Had to choose a new lease car recently and decided against a Passat for several reasons but the handbrake was a major negative factor.

Simple handbrake design in the centre of the car seems to have stood the test of time, why change?

Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Imagos
Lucky enough to be on my third Passat since 2005,

Never had ANY problem with the push button brake.

Remember though the Passat's parking brake wont deactivate automatically without the driver wearing his/hers seatbelt..

Could this be the problem?
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Aprilia
Weigh more than conventional handbrake
Cost more than conventional handbrake
More complex
Less reliable
Special (electronic) equiment needed to adjust and to change brake pads.

Can't really think of any advantages...
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Hamsafar
"Remember though the Passat's parking brake wont deactivate automatically without the driver wearing his/hers seatbelt.."

Exactly, this why why they are introducing systems to every control of the vehicle, in the future, you won't be able to control your vehicle or move it at all unless the state's computer systems approve. It is obvious that they can't wait for the day when you can't physically drive within city centres, or unless you've paid a C charge, or if you are on your way to protest about it. Maybe your carbon footprint is already too big?
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Quinny100
Not driven a new Passat with EPB, but the noise of the electronic mechanism was enough to put me off the idea of them - sounded like a couple of cheap electric motors whirring. My mate who owns the car has said its a bit hit and miss as to whether it applies or releases too.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Avant
Absolutely agree - these are yet another answer to a problem nobody had, and with plenty of disadvantages as people have pointed out. Hill starts must be more difficult as well.

I don't know what's in the mind of some of these designers - this stupid gimmick is likely to reduce, not increase, sales.

Separate starter buttons and space-saver spare wheels that don't save any space are in the same category
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Martin Sweeney
I've driven a number of cars with these and my last three have had them. I've never had any problems with them not working but anything with electrics ups the chances of failure; that said there is definitely a learning curve with the different systems and in the early stages an element of faith is needed. Oddly the only real advantage that I have found with them is with hill starts where it completely eliminates any chance of rolling back. For that it is very good but otherwise avant I completely agree with you on this and on starter buttons, space-saver or no spare wheels at all. Oh and electric tailgates. Two of our guys have these and by all accounts they're an initial novelty but then nothing but an unreliable curse.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Mad Maxy
So how does one juggle EPB with clutch and accelerator on a hill start? And what is 'hill start assist'?

Is the EPB something originally aimed at the US market where everyone drives autos?
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Martin Sweeney
You don't need to juggle it per se as you don't release it manually. Whether on a hill or on the flat, the handbrake will only release itself when there is enough power to move the car forward, at the point where you would feel the bite with a normal handbrake. If you are on a steep gradient or heavily loaded it will sense that more force will be required and will release at a different bite point. I've used it fully loaded in the Pyrenees and Lakes, it's been very good and I've not had a problem yet, though as I remarked above it is electrical so there's a greater chance of problems than with the purely mechanical device and when it does that will be a right pain.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Gromit {P}
The motivation for electronic parking brakes was efficiency - an EPB applies more force than you can by pulling a handbrake lever.

On automatics, the EPB can apply itself when the car comes to a halt in stop-start traffic and release again as soon as the accelerator is applied, solving the "do I stay in drive" quandry discussed more than once here in the backroom.

It would seem to be an idea whose time hasnt' yet come, though...more R&D required...
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Brian Tryzers
There's also the benefit of releasing cabin space by not having a lever between the seats, although that applies only if everyone gets the electric brake, not if it's only an option. Personally (and having tried only one of these devices, and only briefly) I remain sceptical: I'd rather be confident of controlling the car than have an extra box to store jelly babies in. My dentist would probably agree.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - SpamCan61 {P}
I thought cars had to have a mechancially actuated parking brake to pass the MOT anyway, presumably this is not the case anymore, or was I sadly deluded in the first place?

FWIW the one car I drove with an electric handbrake ( Scenic Mk2) I really liked the idea & operation, but it did look like one more simple thing made complicated and hence less reliable in the process.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Altea Ego
>an EPB applies more force than you can by pulling a handbrake lever.

I can supply sufficient force to a handbrake lever to lock the rear wheels (as in a j turn) how much more force do you need?

I am all for technology in cars. The idea of hands free key cards and starter buttons is a natural progressive step as ALB, EBA, TC and stability control is to safety.

An electronic parking brake is just stupid tho. It serves no safety function, it adds no driving pleasure, it doesnt even have a wow factor. Just a "not sure if this is good or not" factor. I drove a scenic for a day with one. It worked perfectly well, but I didnt like it.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Martin Sweeney
I could be wrong, but I think that the electric parking brake applies to all four wheels and applies considerably more force than a handbrake. I guess this would be advantage parked on a steep hill and/or under load and for safety when stopped at junctions or in stationary traffic. I don't think it's a big deal either way and I could easily live with or without but like starter buttons without comfort access, electric tail lifts etc. it is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and one more thing to go wrong.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Ravenger
One of the reasons (apart from cost) that I went for a Zetec C-Max rather than Ghia was to avoid the EPB that comes as standard on the Ghia.

It's a well known issue that the rear brakes on C-Max cars with EPB wear much quicker than the fronts.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - yorkiebar
If the conventional mechanical handbrake fails the car can still be driven to a garage for a repair.
If epa fails, its an expensive callout etc.

I too thought a mechanical parking device was required for MOT ?

Its progress though, Advancing Backwards !
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Martin Sweeney
There is manual release on the electric one. TBH if the conventional handbrake seizes, especially if it's a caliper rather than a cable problem, then most people are still going to be waiting for a callout.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Lud
But drove a truck a few years ago that had a pneumatic or vacuum-operated handbrake, just a little lever sticking out from beside the seat that went on or off with a pleasant 'ch' sighing sound. Very powerful and easy to operate and didn't even look capable of not working.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - movilogo
One thing intrigues me often - the electronics in cars fails so often, how does it work flawlessly on aeroplanes?
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Lud
One thing intrigues me often - the electronics in cars fails
so often, how does it work flawlessly on aeroplanes?

It doesn't.

But it works much better. For a start, by automotive standards, 'no expense is spared' in manufacture. Then, and it's a big then, there are often one or two parallel backup systems. I suppose always when the system is 'safety-related'.

Why aren't the pilots and ex-pilots piling in with their actual knowledge, instead of leaving it to me to suppose things?
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - LeePower
>> One thing intrigues me often - the electronics in cars
>> so often, how does it work flawlessly on aeroplanes?
It doesn't.
But it works much better. For a start, by automotive standards,
'no expense is spared' in manufacture. Then, and it's a big
then, there are often one or two parallel backup systems. I
suppose always when the system is 'safety-related'.
Why aren't the pilots and ex-pilots piling in with their actual
knowledge, instead of leaving it to me to suppose things?


Depends on who the customer is.

About 8 years ago I worked for a company that made electronic assembles that went in planes, ships, subs etc.

Airbus, Boeing & Cessna asked for & got the best components money could buy with the best tolerance electrically, money wasn't an issue with these 3 they just wanted reliability.

Then we where asked to supply an electronic assemble for the Euro fighter or whatever its called now, they asked for cheap nasty parts that even Maplin customers would turn there noses up at, also they asked for 2 assembles per one aircraft, one was a back up just in case the first failed.

I remember seeing one of the Cessna units on heat / cool cycle testing, this testing would go on for days, it kept working up until they cranked the heat up way passed its design spec & the solder melted on the pcb's & the components dropped off.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Number_Cruncher
>>Depends on who the customer is.

I would say it depends more on the end use for the plane. For many reasons, including performance, the reliabilty requirements and redundancy strategy is different between a military and civil aeroplane. Which redundancy option you choose typically drops out of a statistical analysis of the likeliehood of various failure modes, based on the customer specification, the component MTTFs, and the loadings and configuration under scrutiny.

There isn't the same legal requirement to perform qualification testing for automotive parts - aerospace parts are typically subject to both development testing and qualification testing. Qual testing is done to industry wide standards, and the loadings are typically based on extremely pessimistic input data.

The requirements on aerospace software are also more onerous than most. For example, the instruction set is much reduced, and one bit being flipped by a cosmic ray or radiation particle isn't allowed to change the command being exceuted. To meet the reliability requirements determined by the statistical analysis, it is typical for high reliability electronic parts to be specified - these are really quite expensive, and in many cases, difficult to obtain. We have struggled obtaining parts as simple as diodes which would cost 50p in Maplin, and have eventually cost us £1000 each.

Material control, as described by Lee is also much tighter. Also more controlled are processes - these must be developed, qualified, and controlled - any change in even a tiny aspect of the material, component, or process can trigger the need for re-qualification.


Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - fordprefect
Chatting to my local independent today he has asked the DoT how he is supposed to test electronic handbrakes; cannot be tested on the rollers as it locks before a reading is possible; cannot road test with a Tapley meter, not controllable therefore unsafe.

Advice he got was " do the best you can, we are thinking about it "
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - bell boy
apparently a creeping to the floor footbrake is also vosa acceptable on some late model (3 years old) cars
so someone told me on another forum
still find it unbelievable
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - JH
How do you do a handbrake turn? Sorry, last vestiges of hooligan creeping out.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Lud
Accelerate up to a suitable speed (40 or 50).

Place a hand on handbrake and press in the button (very important that). Jerk steering in desired direction and, as the car goes down on its outside suspension, haul up on handbrake keeping button pressed in, while letting go steering wheel.

When car has turned through 180 degrees, not easy to get spot on, release handbraqke whose button you have held down throughout and accelerate away straight at your pursuers chicken-running them off the road.

Obviously much easier with a powerful automatic. Since I've never actually done it I don't know, but I imagine with a manual you have to change down to first before the handbrake manoeuvre and keep your foot on the clutch throughout the 180 degree spin.

An extremely brutal procedure that will wear flats on every part of your car including the transmission components :o)
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Altea Ego
Best practised in the wet, and you need one hell of a tug on the handbrake. Let the handbrake off just before it completes the 180 At about the 140 degrees mark and give it some welly to pull it forwards out of your turn.(much easier with a front wheel drive car)

At lud says - dont forget the button or you look a right plank with the handbrake stuck on in a 270 degree turn
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - PoloGirl
I'm 26 years old and I've never done a handbrake turn... so deprived.

Anyway, the bad news is that VW recovered the Passat to our local VW place, so the poor thing is going to be traumatised by it's lack of good treatment when it comes out. However, they have, amazingly for them, managed to find the problem - a 'chafed wire' behind the dashboard.

They're fixing it, and we're taking Gunther with his proper handbrake on holiday tomorrow night. Not sure how Andy feels about parking on hills from now on!

Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - JH
yes guys I know that, but with an electronic handbrake? What happened to fun? Icy road, no-one around. Strictly 5mph you understand.

Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Martin Sweeney
Actually in younger days I used to love doing handbrake turns tearing round a deserted one-way forest road. Try an emergency brake with the electro brake and you get a high pitched alarm which makes you want to rip your ears off and you grind to a rapid and rather joyless halt. Further isolation from the car and one definite downside of such devices.
Electronic Parking Brake (Passat) - Kiwi Gary
The G III Prius has an interesting belt-and-braces approach. There is a mechanical brake, which happens to be foot-operated instead of hand, plus an electrically-controlled pawl system in the transmission line which engages when power is switched off, or manually from a dashboard switch [ such as waiting at the traffic lights when I would, in an ordinary auto, go to "park".] Takes a bit of getting used to because the pawl is not a tight fit, so the car runs slightly back or forward [ depending on road slope ] . Switching to " Go forth" or "Go back" automatically pulls the pawl out of engagement. In the back of my mind is always " I hope a wire hasn't come loose or solenoid burnt out."

Value my car