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Avensis - Electric Handbrake

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Apologies if this topic has been covered before. Still getting used to the electric handbrake on my 2013 TR Avensis (diesel). The switch is awkward to reach if you are 6 foot 2 but I appreciate that it has to be out of the way in case it's accidentally engaged but my questions are:

1. What happens if the handbrake switch is accidentally engaged with the car moving at speed?

2. On two occasions now the handbrake has failed to apply automatically when I turned off the ignition-should I be concerned?

3. What is the lifespan of these systems?

Cheers

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I agree with you on the positioning of the operating switch. It is my only gripe with the car, I would much prefer to have a conventional handbrake. I haven't tested it, and don't intend to, but if it does operate at speed then I suspect it would apply the rear brakes as if you jumped on the foot brake but with less reduction in speed as the fronts don't operate.

On my 2010 model the parking brake does not, and never has, operated when turning the ignition off. There is nothing in the hand book that suggests this should happen so it may just apply to the later models. As mine is the CVT Auto I only use the parking brake when not on level ground and leave the box in Park mode.

I bought my Avensis when it was 18 months old and at the two year service I mentioned to Toyota that it seemed noisy in operation, they checked and replaced the actuator under warranty so has been fine since. Not sure whether it related to the Avensis but I have seen reports of the actuators failing. They are expensive to replace, another reason for preferring a conventional lever.

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I have tried to apply the electronic handbrake in hire cars, just out of professional curiosity you understand. It didn't work. And, yes, I was disappointed.

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no joys of handbrake turns for future generations of teenagers ... :crazy:

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I have tried to apply the electronic handbrake in hire cars, just out of professional curiosity you understand. It didn't work. And, yes, I was disappointed.

You mean when the car is moving? Oh but it does work. You need to keep it pulled and after a second or two it starts to break.

This is a safety feature that is in ALL cars with electronic handbrake. It's there if the normal brakes have a problem, you then at least have some brakes available.

Try it, works. You can even do handbrake turns on slippery surfaces ;)

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I'll rely on Mr T's 5 year warranty then if the actuator fails - think I read somewhere that the replacement cost is up to £650+vat?. I just can't see the benefits of an electronic parking brake from a user perspective but I guess, as with so-called space-saver spare tyres, it must save Mr T money. I take a little comfort from knowing that my FiL's 2006 Renault Scenic has had no problems with its electronic parking brake despite the failure of electric window and door mirror relays albeit that he's only clocked up 18k miles!

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Bring on the next hire car!

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I'll rely on Mr T's 5 year warranty then if the actuator fails - think I read somewhere that the replacement cost is up to £650+vat?. I just can't see the benefits of an electronic parking brake from a user perspective but I guess, as with so-called space-saver spare tyres, it must save Mr T money. I take a little comfort from knowing that my FiL's 2006 Renault Scenic has had no problems with its electronic parking brake despite the failure of electric window and door mirror relays albeit that he's only clocked up 18k miles!

I doubt it would save them money, it would make them money when it fails out of warranty.

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My last company car was a 2009 Avensis tourer with an electronic handbrake. I did 150k miles in 3 years and 8 months. A parking brake actuator failed at 65k miles, it was out of the then 3 years 60k warranty, it was a lease vehicle so paying or not wasn't an issue. On asking the price of repair, I was told about £1,000 made up of actuator £675. 2.1/2 hours labour to fit and VAT on top. The electronic parking brake also made my driving style lazy because I never manually released it, relied on it to self release so the clutch was always fighting the parking brake when starting off and yes, I needed a new clutch at 73k miles.

My new company car is another Avensis tourer (I could have chosen from literally hundreds of cars but I chose the Avensis tourer because it does everything it says on the tin) and the electronic parking brake is set to automatically apply when the engine is stopped, a really useful feature, it can be disabled but I personally like this feature. When I first got an Avensis with an electric parking brake 4 years ago, for the first few weeks I hated it but now, I think it is simple to use and have no problems with it. BUT, I woudn't buy a car with an electronic handbrake, it's all about perceived value, I have no problem with an independent charging £100 to replace a handbrake cable but £1,000 to replace a parking brake actuator, no.

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I doubt it would save them money, it would make them money when it fails out of warranty.

It helps them to save weight> higher mpg figures which increasingly they are targeted to achieve across the range & fined if they don't achieve.

I imagine that pretty much all new cars will switch over to electronic hand brakes.

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Thanks for the information RK123456. I too started to get lazy with the parking brake, not manually releasing it when moving off. I've only got 800 miles on the clock on my 2013 Avensis so I've decided to manually release the brake from now on to save on the potential costs of replacing a dual mass flywheel clutch later on! A parking brake actuator, plus DMF comes to at lease £2.5k in my reckoning which completely writes off any fuel economy gained from driving a diesel!

What worries me in the longer term though is the residual value of my car when it approaches c£80k miles given what dealers now know about what might need replaced (DMF, DPF, EGR valve and even the diesel injectors starting to require attention!). I intend to trade it in before the 5 year warranty expires in Feb 2018.

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