I am not a fan of electric handbrakes, not only because I prefer to have a lever to grab and pull, but also because they are more expensive to fix when things go wrong.
This Renault Megane with an electric handbrake was a typical example. The unit had failed not because of a breakdown of the electric motor or control unit, but due to frayed and sticking cables. Unfortunately, the cables are not available separately – and to replace the complete unit it’s £477.
The unit is not complicated to fit and simply bolts under the vehicle. However, it then needs to be initialised using a diagnostic scanner. Fortunately, our scanner could carry out this operation, saving a trip to a main dealer and the associated costs.
An electric motor controlled by its own electronic unit operates the handbrake cables.