An electric parking brake is a type of parking brake that uses electricity from the car’s battery to actuate the vehicle’s mechanical parking brake. It has some advantages over a conventional hand-operated (also known as “mechanical”) parking brake, and it is sometimes mandated by law for cars sold in certain countries.
The main advantage of an electric parking brake is that it allows you to release your car’s manual brakes without having to move your foot off the accelerator pedal. – more like feathering the accelerator.
This can be helpful when you’re driving on steep hills or icy roads and need both hands on the wheel but want your wheels locked in place while you’re stopped so they don’t roll away if someone bumps into them or something else happens unexpectedly.
I’ll be explaining some of the common reasons you can have electric parking brake problems.
1. A Faulty Wiring Harness
This can happen when one of the wires in your vehicle’s wiring harness becomes loose, which could cause a short circuit and prevent your parking brake from working correctly.
If you suspect that this may be happening, take your car to an auto repair shop where they can inspect the wiring harness and determine whether or not it needs to be replaced.
2. A Bad Actuator in Your Car’s Hydraulic System
Another common problem with electric parking brakes is a bad actuator motor or gear set in your car’s hydraulic system. This most often happens because of corrosion damage introduced by moisture getting into these parts, causing them to become damaged over time as the corrosion eats away at their materials from within.
Symptoms of an Electric Parking Brake Problem
A flashing light on the parking brake, or simply a flashing light, is one of the most common symptoms. If you have this symptom, it means your car has detected an issue with its electric parking brake system and is letting you know about it.
There may also be other warning signs that indicate a problem with your electric parking brake system but this one is the most common. If you see any of these signs, don’t ignore them.
How to Troubleshoot Electric Parking Brake Problem
1. Park Your Vehicle
Park your car on a good and flat surface. Also, remember to turn off the engine when you want to troubleshoot your electric parking brake problem.
2. Lose The Nut of The Affected Wheel Lug
Loosen the nut on your wheel lug. You can do this with a wrench, as long as you turn it anticlockwise.
3. Take Out The Wheel
Remove the wheel and tire assembly from the vehicle. Unscrew the nuts on all four corners of the affected wheel, being sure to keep them in order so you don’t mix up your lug nuts when reattaching them later.
Also, you can then access your brake caliper safely by lifting off its cover, which may or may not require some wiggling depending on how it’s attached at each corner (some cars use screws).
Once opened up like this, you’ll be able to see where your problem lies: either with a disconnected cable (which will mean replacing its end piece) or with an actual mechanical issue in need of repair.
4. Look for Electricals Connected to The Caliper
You should also check to see if there are any electricals connected to the caliper. The only reason that there would be a wire connecting it is if you have an electric parking brake, so make sure you’re not looking at something else.
5. Examine The Power Supply That Is Received by Your Electric Actuator
The electric actuator motor needs an external power supply to operate, so if it does not receive any external power supply, it will not work. Therefore, we need to use a millimeter tester to examine this external power supply.
6. Examine The Reading of The Voltage
The next step is to check the voltage reading. The voltage should be between 10 and 12 volts. If it is higher than 12 volts, you may have a problem with your battery or alternator.
Check the voltage of the actuator. If it’s below 12 volts, replace it. After you’ve replaced the actuator, you should check for continuity across its terminals with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace your cable assembly and/or wire harness between the brake pedal and motor.
7. Try The Actuator
Test the actuator winding for damage and continuity. To carry out this, first, find where the connector is connected to the Caliper. Then remove the screws that hold down the actuating arm and push it aside while you access the connector underneath it.
The actuator connector has two wires: one red and one black; they are both insulated from each other by an insulator sleeve. You will have to cut this off in order to test the continuity between these two wires at a later time.
Also, it’s best if you can find someone who owns an ohm meter or multimeter (an electronic tester) so that they can make sure that there aren’t any breaks in your electrical circuit that could be causing your problem.
8. Place Everything Back in Its Original Position
Now that you’ve figured out what’s causing the problem, you’ll have to put everything removed or lose it back in its original position. This means removing the pieces that you took out and putting them back where they belong.
Read: Service Brake Assist
An electric parking brake is an essential part of an automobile. It helps in regulating the vehicle while driving especially on hills. But there are some problems that are often common with it.
In fact, in our research, we discover that the problems are common with honda civic cars. In this article, we provided several ways to fix and troubleshoot the problems.
Some of the problems are bad wiring, faulty caliper parking brake servo motor, a bad actuator in your car’s hydraulic system, and a bad console parking brake switch or button.
You can fix it by switching on the ignition and shifting your gear to the park. After this, activate the electric parking brake switch by pulling and releasing it. Also, Pull once more and hold till there’s a mechanical beep and release the switch.
Ugo is a passionate car enthusiast with a Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering degree and hands-on experience in troubleshooting and fixing automobiles.
I combine my electrical and mechanical engineering knowledge with practical skills to address car-related issues.
My love for cars and dedication to educating others led to the creation of Fixandtroubleshoot.com!