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This New Car Feature Will Kill You Warns Mechanic

Car features are supposed to make your ride more enjoyable and safer. However, sometimes new features are well designed with the latest tech…but not so well conceived during its planning stages. Here’s the latest about one new car feature that this mechanic says will get thousands of car owners killed.

Emergency Brakes from Analog to Digital

One of the most basic car features is the car parking brake, which goes by other names such as the “emergency brake” or the “handbrake” depending on the model of car or truck you own.

Back in the day---not so long ago---parking brakes were analog mechanical devices that used the power of friction integrated with the wheels to rub abrasive surfaces together to prevent the wheels from turning while away from the car.

Typically, a cable or system of rods physically connected the parking brake pedal or handle to this system so as to prevent a parked vehicle from rolling should it slip out of gear or be left behind with the transmission in neutral.

Parking brakes were especially necessary when parking on an inclined street along with having the front wheels angled against the curve in case the brakes should start to slip under the influence of constant gravity pulling the vehicle downward.

Furthermore, should your brake system fail---such as from a lack of brake fluid to actuate the brakes---the mechanical parking brake system was a handy way to stop a rolling vehicle in an emergency.

Today, however, parking brakes have gone from analog to digital with the new feature of electronic brakes (i.e., e-brakes) where the control of the wheel parking braking system is controlled electronically with an electric motor, some software, and a chip or two to automatically activate the parking brake when the transmission is shifted into park. The idea was to make driving more convenient and possibly safer by relieving the owner from having to remember to physically set the parking brake.

Good Intentions, Poor Concept

The problem with this newest feature is that of what happens when the vehicle’s electrical system fails and there is nothing to activate the motor controlling the parking brake system…especially at the worst time possible when the last thing you want is an unpowered car rolling on its own under the forces of gravity.

That was the message in a recent Scotty Kilmer YouTube channel video where Scotty in typical Scotty fashion rails against what he considers the most idiotic idea yet to come out in new vehicle feature design.

Related article: Car Features That Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

If you think Scotty is exaggerating the problem, be sure to read some of the comments following the video that points to how important it is---if not to keep some things still analog in a vehicle---to at least have a backup system in case of electrical system failure.

Please note only the first 2 and one-half minutes of the video pertain to the topic.

This New Car Feature Will Kill Thousands

And finally…

For additional articles related to your car’s brakes, here are a few for your consideration:

How Service Centers Damage Your Brakes with a Simple Tire Change

Common Brake Repair Scam in Major Name Tire Centers

Toyota Maintenance Mechanic Shows How to Cut Brake Repair Job Costs in Half

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

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