Why Do BMW Have Manual Handbrake?

In today’s modern autos, electronic handbrakes are increasingly prevalent. These replace the conventional handbrake lever and provide the same function, which is to apply the handbrake.

Electronic handbrakes are easier to use than traditional handbrakes, which need you to pull or release the lever in order to engage it. You only need to push a button.

My most recent autos all appear to have an electronic handbrake. I even have a 2012 530d Demonstrator. Therefore, why does the 3 Series continue to use a manual handbrake?

Personally, I favor the classic lever. The electronic hand brake in a rental automobile I once had from work was interesting, but it took some getting used to. I don’t consider myself a Luddite, but while parking on a hill, I somehow have more faith in a lever performing the job than in hitting a button.

I just parted ways with my 2009 Audi A4 because I abhorred its automated handbrake. Because it lacked a clever hill hold, high hills are the beginning of a bloomin’ nightmare. Personally, I’m happy that my little F30 still has a handbrake.

My wife’s car has a manual handbrake, but mine is an electronic one. I’ll admit that I no longer prefer the manual transmission in the wife’s automobile. Mine always works and is effective on hills. If (when?) I acquire a 320, it will be a step backwards for me.

Only one-third of brand-new automobiles have a manual handbrake.

Over two thirds of vehicles are now only available with an electronic parking brake, signaling the continued decline of the manual handbrake.

The satisfaction of properly pulling off a smooth handbrake turn in a deserted gravel parking lot might soon become extinct.

Just 37% of new cars passed the test, according to a poll done by Car Gurus last year to determine how many still come with the traditional parking brake. The company has since issued an updated analysis, which came to the conclusion that only 30% of automobiles still have manual handbrakes.

Yes, the electronic handbrake is the only option offered on more than two-thirds of new automobiles sold in the UK. The only mainstream automakers still selling all of their models with manual handbrakes are Dacia and Suzuki, whereas Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, and Porsche only offer vehicles with electronic brakes.

They are, generally speaking, better, thus there is a good reason why this is taking place. They need significantly less effort to engage or disengage than manual arrangements, and you’re much less likely to make a mistake when using a simple on/off button. They’re also easier to package than manual arrangements.

According to Car Gurus UK editor Chris Knapman, “It’s official, the death of the handbrake is approaching as manufacturers move to electronic parking brakes in massive numbers. They have quickly gone from being a curiosity to what our data reveals is now the standard.”

A1 Sportback by Audi

One of the most recent vehicles from the German automaker to be delivered is the Audi A1 Sportback, which still comes in versions with a manual handbrake.

This stylish Sportback can compete with some of the best in its class and yet has plenty of power. Young urban consumers looking for a good daily vehicle for city driving appear to be the A1’s target market.

The most spectacular of the four available petrol engines is the 2.0-liter (TFSI) power plant, which has a top speed of 204 bph. The six-speed manual is where you’ll mostly find the manual handbrake.

The Audi A1 maintains its position as one of the top hatchbacks available thanks to a high-end interior, a strong engine, and a wide range of upgrade choices.

Even though just 1% of Audi cars have manual handbrakes, they are nevertheless regarded as being highly reliable and safe. Most manual handbrake automobile owners say they feel secure knowing their vehicle won’t “rollback.”

The manual handbrake also has the benefit of being less expensive to maintain than its computerized version.

Repairing or replacing an electronic parking brake that isn’t working properly can cost up to $1,500.

Unfortunately, unlike several of its forerunners, the most recent model of the A1 series will not have a manual handbrake.

The Audi A1 model for 2022 represents a significant improvement over earlier generations. Although it has a larger interior and better performance, it regrettably lacks a manual handbrake.

How common are electronic handbrakes on new cars?

Less than two out of every ten new cars have a manual handbrake. According to the third edition of the CarGurus Manual Handbrake Report, only 17% of new automobiles had manual handbrakes in 2021. In 2020 and 2019, the percentages were 24% and 31%, respectively.

The article claims that over the previous 12 months, the manual handbrake has been eliminated in the Vauxhall Corsa, SEAT Leon, and BMW 4 Series.

The handbrake is still in use!

According to new study from CarGurus, less than 25% of new automobiles are equipped with a traditional mechanical handbrake.

A manually controlled handbrake is now standard on only 24% of new automobiles now for sale in the UK, down from 30% last year.

The UK’s most popular cars, including the BMW 1 Series, BMW 3 Series, Peugeot 208 (seen above), and Nissan Juke, have lost mechanical handbrakes in the past year, while only discount brand Dacia offers a manual handbrake on every model it sells. For more affordable or sportier cars, the majority of automakers still use the conventional lever.

Meanwhile, handbrakes have been completely abandoned by Alfa Romeo, DS, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche, and Volvo.

The handbrake has been replaced by either a foot-operated mechanism or an electronic option, both of which are less physically demanding than the handbrake but are still seen by many as luxuries.

The electronic parking brakes are incredibly practical for the average driver because they release instantly when you move away and frequently include a hill hold assist feature.

According to Chris Knapman, editor of CarGurus UK, “it looks like the manual handbrake only has a few years left, as it continues its slow slide in the new car market, with nearly two dozen models losing it as an option over the previous 12 months.”

We anticipate a further decrease in the number of cars with traditional handbrakes on the market in the upcoming years as they remain a feature found only on a small number of sporty models.

Though manual handbrakes may soon be obsolete in brand-new vehicles, some customers may turn to the used car market in a bid to relive their youth.

According to recent study, only three out of ten new vehicles have a manual handbrake, with JLR, Lexus, Mercedes, and Porsche switching to electric-only models.

According to recent study, 70% of current models only provide an electronic parking brake with no manual option, making the manual handbrake an endangered species on the new-car market.

It’s electronic or nothing if you want a car from several manufacturers, including Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes, and Porsche, who have eliminated the mechanical handbrake across their entire model portfolio.

In 2018, 37% of automobiles had manual handbrakes; currently, only 30% of cars had manual handbrakes, reflecting the trend toward replacing manual handbrakes with electronic ones. Although seven out of ten new cars come equipped with an electronic handbrake, several automakers, like Dacia and Suzuki, nevertheless offer a manual handbrake across their whole product lines. The familiar ratchet sound of a brake being applied is therefore destined for the past.

The research was done by Cargurus, whose editor Chris Knapman stated: “Since being first used on a production vehicle, the flagship BMW 7 Series, in 2001, electronic parking brakes have quickly evolved from a curiosity to what our data demonstrates is now the standard. Although some drivers may prefer the tactile feel of a classic manual parking brake, these systems have significant advantages in terms of convenience, safety, and packing.

Six out of the top ten selling cars from the previous month all came equipped with an electronic handbrake, supporting the findings.

The growth of the manual handbrake, according to Jack Coursens, the AA’s head of roads policy, is “a hint of where automotive technology is going, as electronic systems replace manual and mechanical ones.”

Cousens noted that electronic handbrakes had “certainly some benefits, such as the assistance they provide for hill starts, and the fact that they don’t carry the danger manual handbrakes have of not being set securely enough when people park on steep hills.

But Cousens issued a warning: “One worry would be that this is just another technological failure. And if their first car has a manual brake, young drivers who might well learn to drive in a car with an automated handbrake may find themselves having to acquire a new skill.

In his conclusion, he said, “Do people really miss manual chokes as manual parking brakes become more and more common? People may well long for the days of manual brakes.”

The handbrake turn, which must always be done safely in track circumstances, may become a lost skill for the newest generation of drivers as a result of the mechanical parking brake’s demise.

Are you disappointed about the manual handbrake’s demise? Tell us in the comments section below.

How do BMW handbrakes function?

Have you ever been told not to use the Electronic Parking Brake (E-brake) on your BMW F10 because it could break down and render your car inoperable? To help you decide whether to use or not use the E-brake, we’ll examine the mechanics and function of the E-brake in this article.

It’s best to comprehend the variations of parking brakes offered before getting into why it doesn’t operate.

Traditionally, a handbrake operates by applying strain to a rope that attaches to the rear brakes of a vehicle. Depending on the model of your car, applying pressure on the handbrake will either squeeze the brake shoes or the brake pads, keeping the car in place.

An electronic brake actuator will be engaged by pulling a switch, but an Electronic Parking Brake (E-brake) operates on the same theory. When you hear the brake actuator in an F10 spinning and see the parking brake indicator on the dashboard, you’ll know the brake is in operation.

What happens if you never apply the E-brake? Actually, a lot of things can happen. In the F10 case study, despite the owner not using the E-brake for two years, the actuator’s internal components began to corrode, which led to a brake failure. Here are some images of the deconstruction process.

The caliper and discs are easily seen when the wheels have been taken off. As a result, the E-brake, which is located just behind the brake caliper housing, is accessible.

Our readers might detect an O-ring in the brake caliper housing in the image above. It serves as a sealant to keep moisture out of the actuator’s interior components.

Here are examples of a brand-new O-ring (bottom) and a deformed and hardened O-ring (top) (bottom). The brake actuator will be correctly sealed by a new O-ring. The internals will rust if this O-ring fails, which will cause a failure.

The pictures above clearly show how heavily rusted this F10 brake actuator is. Rust contributed to a premature failure by causing the motor to fail.

Let’s disassemble the brake actuator so we can examine the internal mechanism. The brake actuator’s internal parts and operation are demonstrated in the video below below.

The brake actuator’s O-ring could deform over time, which increases the likelihood that moisture will enter the actuator and cause the motor to corrode and eventually seize. We’ll let you, the reader, decide whether or not to apply the E-brake. However, it is a good idea to inspect your E-brake and, if necessary, replace the O-ring at the same time that you change your rear brake pads.