Electric Parking Brakes
The automotive industry is replacing mechanical systems with electronic systems that take up less room in the passenger compartment and require less maintenance and fewer adjustments. Things that used to be mechanical are now being replaced by switches and buttons. The parking brake is no exception.
There are two basic types of electric parking brake (EPB) systems. One has an electric motor that pulls the cable that the parking brake lever used to actuate. The other and more common is an electric motor attached to the rear calipers that applies the brake pads when activated.
The switch is typically located by the shifter or the dash. Automatic computer controlled features like Hill/Start and Hill/Hold are convenient, especially with vehicles equipped with manual transmissions. By monitoring different sensors, the system applies the brake at a stop light or on a hill and releases the brake when the vehicle is accelerated.
There are different manufacturer specific procedures that must be followed to replace the brake pads. It depends on the vehicle. This is because the thrust screw inside adjusts outward as the brake pads wear. This mechanism must be retracted before the caliper’s piston can be pushed back into its bore.