What is an Electric Parking Brake?
Last week we looked at a relatively widespread safety feature called Hill Start Assist, that helps you to keep your vehicle stable and going where you want it to go even on an incline. For this week’s How’s This Work, we’re going to look at a lesser-used safety feature that might see an increase in use over the next few years called an Electric Parking Brake. Every vehicle has a parking brake, and whereas HSA makes sure you don’t roll back while you’re driving, the parking brake does this while you’re parked. An Electric Parking Brake is a fairly new feature that does exactly what it says, acts as a parking brake electronically rather than being a lever you pull or pedal you push.
[ LAST WEEK: How does Hill Start Assist work? ]
How does an Electric Parking Brake work?
Traditionally, a parking brake is a lever on the floor near the driver’s seat or perhaps between the two front seats. Pulling up on the lever clicks a mechanical parking brake into place to prevent your vehicle from rolling when parked on a hill – whether inclining or declining. Now, it’s just a little button or, in Honda’s case, a little switch. Pressing the button or flipping the switch will then trigger an electronic control unit to click the parking brake into place with an actuator mechanism.
In Honda vehicles, as we mentioned, there is just a little switch near the gear shift. Pulling it up will trigger the electric parking brake and a PARK indicator will light up on your instrument panel. Then to release it, you just need to fasten your seat belt and press the brakes, then push the switch back down and the parking brake will be released.
If you have any questions about how this works or what vehicles it’s available on, feel free to give us a call. We’d be happy to help! The video below gives you a visual look at what the electric parking brake switch looks like in the 2016 Honda HR-V.