Electric Handbrake

  avesnes1 10:26 01 Dec 2008

I am currently looking at the Renault Scenic range and the Citroen C4 & Grand C4 range and I notice that they all have an electric handbrake.

As my front drive consists of a fairly steep slope, I was wondering if any members have any views/comments regarding electric handbrakes in general.

  laurie53 10:34 01 Dec 2008

Have the Grand C4 (needed the rear space for a power chair).

Had one minor problem (brake light switch faulty, engine won't start unless you have footbrake depressed, i.e switch operated)

Other than that no problems,

On a general note it is one of the best cars I've had for a long time.

  Chris the Ancient 12:24 01 Dec 2008

Not that I have one... but I was talking to an AA patrol the other day, and electric handbrakes came under discussion.

I had imagined that they were quite whizzy devices; but he said that all that applied the handbrake was an electric motor pulling the handbrake cable on. And he had known of some to stick on - or go off - unexpectedly.

So I would give you the same advice that I give my learner drivers...

If parking and leaving the car on a slope, leave the car in gear - and a gear opposite to the direction that the car would travel. i.e. if facing uphill, leave it in 1st and if facing downhill, leave it in reverse. However, if you have an automatic gearbox, leave it in "P" - which locks the transmission.


  Switcher 13:44 01 Dec 2008

Most modern automatics have the ignition key interlocked with the Park postion in that it is impossible to remove the key unless the selector is in the Park position. Too bad manual gearboxes do not have some method of locking the transmission. Would not fancy a car with an electric handbrake unless it was an auto box.

  peter99co 14:03 01 Dec 2008

I have reservations about wet brake pads freezing on to disk during winter. I had it happen to hub brakes after wet turned to freezing conditions. You can't leave the electric brake off.

  Quickbeam 14:33 01 Dec 2008

used to say these sort of untrusting things about new technology in his day too,
"I'm not sure these nu' fangled electric starters are such a good idea, I'll stick to my starting handle..."

I'm sure with the potential in this day and age for being sued, they will have given anything new a damn good testing period.

  amonra 14:45 01 Dec 2008

I'm with your grandad on this, why complicate things. Is the present generation too weak to pull up a handbrake ? What happens when you accidently leave your lights on and discharge the battery ? You cant push it down the hill and jump start it. I'll stick with a brick under the rear wheel ...............

  hssutton 15:40 01 Dec 2008

I've been driving a C4 Automatic for a little over 12 months and found no problem with the electronic handbrake until just recently. I was reverse parking on a steep hill into a parking bay with a car parked in both adjacent bays and I must say I had great difficulty. (a bit of an understatement)

The electronic brakes are either on or off so you have little control of the vehicle all you can do is control it via the accelerator. Now this may be just me as I live in the flatlands of Lincolnshire, but one thing is a certainty I will not attempt parking on a steep hill again, at least with such as the C4. Easy peasy with my Rover 75 automatic or indeed any other conventional car whether manual or auto.

  laurie53 16:51 01 Dec 2008

"You can't leave the electric brake off."

Yes you can.

There is still a selector switch on the dash that can be operated.

hssutton - I don't use the electric brake for parking or hill starts, simply the normal footbrake.

  canarieslover 19:15 01 Dec 2008

From experience with a Renault Meganne Scenic and a Ford C-Max fitted with the electric handbrake my advice would to be stay well away. Renault had the handbrake on the opposite side to gear lever and just did not feel natural to put into gear with one hand and then take off handbrake with the other. Also it did not seem to release every time and occasionally I would be trying to drive away with handbrake still engaged. Minor problems also with the C-Max Ghia not disengaging every time, noticable that Ford have not continued with the electric handbrake in the latest version. Fully agree with hssutton that control on a hill is certainly not it's greatest virtue, when we first bought the Meganne my wife was finding hill starts quite daunting, and she has 35 years of driving experience.

  bremner 19:28 01 Dec 2008

I had a VW Passatt for 2 years with an electronic handbrake and once I was used to it it was much easier to use than a manual lever.

Never had any problems with it.

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