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Thread: How easy should be to break an electronic handbrake?

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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Question How easy should be to break an electronic handbrake?


    I have a wheelchair accessible vehicle, which I drive. On my last car, I accidentally drove with the handbrake on and this resulted in it failing an MOT. Motability agreed to pay for the repairs that time. The biggest problem was that the handbrake could only be repaired at the converter and therefore by the time Motability transported the car/converter repaired the fault/the car was transported back to me, I was without the car for a couple of weeks.

    Several months ago I accidentally drove about 2 car lengths, before I noticed the handbrake was on. I have not been in a hurry to report this, firstly because of my experience above and secondly as I understand it, automatics really don't need handbrake's-putting it in the park is just as good or better, and I never park on hills anyway. Also, unless I am wrong, this will only be an issue once it requires an MOT, which is not until next year (the car is only 2 years old this month/next month [when the converter purchased the car/when I received the car]).

    Now my plan was to mention it to the engineer, when the converter does the annual service in the next few weeks. However, typical-between Christmas and New Year the electric wheelchair lock broke and hopefully I will hear from this week (the wheelchair lock repair should be done at my house).

    This might be silly but if I am going to be without my car again for a few weeks, I would be happier to have 2 rely on public transport, later in the year when hopefully the virus is not so prevalent.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    What car is it? Mine is a vivaro, but the electronic handbrake works in the same way on automatics, when you accelerate, the handbrake will disengage. If it didnt than its a manufacturers fault I think. Anyway, for the period your car was in the service you should have asked for a replacement car, I guess it would be hard if it is replacing a WAV, but it is still possible... Alternatively you could ask for taxi fares from motability. It's a service you are still paying while not benefiting of having the car.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    I can only go by VW’s electronic hand-brake workings but like Colin said I wouldn't beat yourself up on driving with the hand-brake on because it should automatically release itself when you drive off.

    If the button is pressed on the brake it might fully lock the handbrake but there’s no way you can drive off without knowing about it by the drag on the car along with a warning light flashing on the dash plus a bonging chime coming from the cars infotainment centre that would drive you around the bend before you got more than a few yards.

    I can’t imagine for a minute that any damage was done to the car driving a few yards with it engaged so shouldn't need any repairs unless you feel its not working but if it is working forget about it.

    Some dealers will lend you car when yours is being serviced but like myself this is not an option because the car is adapted for myself to drive and the dealers car would not have those adaptions. Under normal times I just wait at the dealers showroom while they service the car, about an hour or so, then drive back home. With the virus this hasn’t been possible so the dealer has collected the car from my home and returned it the same day so something to think about.

  4. #4
    When it comes to adapted cars with hand controls I doubt any dealers will have a replacement car. You need to ask motability for a solution and there are 3 options there: you get cab fares, you get an automatic with portable hand controls, or an adapted rental - from my experience this third option wasnt viable, they struggled to find a suitable one even when I lowered the bar to "minimum acceptable, which was automatic with hand controls.

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