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Hi, just picked up the Ampera on Saturday, and having a blast. :)

With reference to the Electric Brake, in everyday use do you just drive off and let the break switch itself off or do you do it manually.

I have read the manual in it seems to say that you can just drive off and it will disengage automatically but may wear the brake lining if you do this all the time..

Your advice would be appreciated...
 

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Hi, just picked up the Ampera on Saturday, and having a blast. :)

With reference to the Electric Brake, in everyday use do you just drive off and let the break switch itself off or do you do it manually.

I have read the manual in it seems to say that you can just drive off and it will disengage automatically but may wear the brake lining if you do this all the time..

Your advice would be appreciated...
Personally I always manually disengage it. But then I am right and dont want to wear out the brakes, or suspension any earlier than is absolutely necessary ! :)
 

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Generally I just drive off. I would manually disengage it if I just want to tweek it back another inch, say when parking in the garage otherwise you get a sort of catapault effect!
 

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50/50. Depends on circumstances and what mood I'm in. Just dont worry about it, do whatever is easiest. You wont wear out the brakes, they disengage almost immediately, and are not used anywhere near as much as in a conventional car anyway because of regenerative braking. I drove a Jag S-Type for 8 years and almost never manually disengaged the brake, the pads didnt wear any more than normal.
 
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For some reason, and I'm really not sure why, I tend to manually disengage if I'm reversing and leave it to automatic when driving off forwards.

Maybe it's just I don't like the bounce the suspension does when it "strains" slightly against the brake until it releases.

Hey, that's just me. You do whatever you feel happiest with. :)

Derek
 
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This has been discussed elsewhere :) Basically you can feel it straining against the pads if you drive off while it's still in the process of disengaging, therefore it must cause less wear and tear if you disengage it yourself first. But it won't do any damage if you occasionally forget.
 
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It's the first car I have had with this type of parking brake, and my biggest fear is having it jam on. That's why I am cautious with it. :)
 

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It's a daft anachronism anyway... you make a car that is as economical as possible everywhere (even supposedly in the BOSE speakers on the Electron) - and then make a perfectly good mechanical system into an electric system which uses power and a heavy motor! Sheer stupidity :confused:
 

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It's a daft anachronism anyway... you make a car that is as economical as possible everywhere (even supposedly in the BOSE speakers on the Electron) - and then make a perfectly good mechanical system into an electric system which uses power and a heavy motor! Sheer stupidity :confused:
You would think that an old fashioned lever would be quite lightweight really ...
 

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Exactly! A lever and bit of cable is much lighter than an electric motor and clamp... and rather less likely to go wrong, or render the vehicle immobile if the battery goes flat. It's the one moment of nonsense in this car :)
 
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Exactly! A lever and bit of cable is much lighter than an electric motor and clamp... and rather less likely to go wrong, or render the vehicle immobile if the battery goes flat. It's the one moment of nonsense in this car :)
It's certainly an unnecessary expense. I would rather have one more AA battery worth of range ! (So frequently using <2 miles of petrol)!
 

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It is an American automatic car thing. Pull up style parking brakes are not so common, many are foot activated to make auto driving easier - right foot on gas, release parking brake with left foot. The hands are for talking on your cell phone or drinking coffee ;-)

My other half has an Infiniti which is foot activated. We are a two USA car household!

To answer question, except steep hills, I always release the parking brake before driving off
 
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Given that the battery is in the tunnel, is there enough space for the cables and mechanism for a European-style traditional handbrake?
 

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IMO the cable hand/parking break has had its day, just like speedo cables and accelertor cables... In a few years I doubt we will see any car over £15K with one.
 

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TRW would say that - they design and make electronic parking braking systems!! Given that most manual parking brakes work by pulling directly on the standard brake pads and discs, I'd say that's (politely) wrong. You're never going to get lighter than a plastic handle and a bit of cord.
 
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I agree they may be biased, but as a professional company I am sure they would not lie on their web site. With most cars now having rear discs, unfortunately it is more than a handle and high tensile steel cable. Below is a quote from a non-partisan web site (emergency=parking=handbrake)

Cars with rear disc brakes have a more complicated emergency brake system, sometimes requiring an entire drum brake system to be mounted inside of the rear rotor, called an exclusive parking brake or auxiliary drum brake.
When the vehicle has rear disc brakes without an auxiliary drum brake, a
caliper-actuated parking brake system is used. With this system, an additional lever and corkscrew is added to the existing caliper piston. When the emergency brake is pulled, the lever forces the corkscrew against caliper piston, and applies the brakes, again bypassing the hydraulic braking system.

 
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Interesting - I hadn't realised there was a difference between drum-based and disc-based cars. I still maintain it's one more thing to go wrong though :)
 
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