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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Having recently had the thermostat sorted on my Cmax (yay, it's now warm again in the mornings!) yesterday I went out to the car and found that the handbrake wouldn't release.
It's a 1.8 petrol Cmax Ghia on an 04 plate, so has the dreaded EPB setup.
Wouldn't release at all - pulled the emergency release thinger (when they say pull it hard, zzz, they really mean *hard*) and the brake came off so I could move the car, but it now appears to bepermanentlyoff.
I'll dump it at the garage tomorrow for them to have a look, but any ideas? When I first turned the ignition on and tried to release the epb instead of the normal whirring noise from the rear, there was a gentle clicking so something was trying to do something.
Doesn't do anything now, just says "Total EPB failure" on the dash. Does the emergency release thing always need something doing to the car once it's been used? I'm wondering if it's just disabled the system completely now.
The manual is (as usual) fairly useless on this.
Any hints? Also, if it's terminal, and needs expensive parts does anyone have any experience on reconditioned units? I've stumbled acrosshttp://www.bba-reman.com/content.aspx?content=Ford_Focus_2003_CMax_Unit which sounds about right, but no prices (and their website throws an error when I try to use their form to ask!).
Any ideas on prices for a new unit (I'm seeing prices from 400-700 quid mentioned online - *ouch*!)
Cheers,
Darren
 

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Hi rocklobster,sorry to hear of your EPB failure,if you have done a search of this forum you will no doubt realize its almost certain your EPB unit that is knackered,which will most certainly relieve your wallet of many hundreds of pounds, unfortunately this is not really a diy job although the haynes manual gives a procedure for removal of the unit, when a EPB unit is replaced it has to be programmed to the car so not really making it a home diy job,As for reconditioned units i've not heard anyone on the forum having fitted one but again i would assume even that unit would have to be programmed to the car, either way as soon as EPB failure is mentioned on the forum this springs to mind££££££££££££££££££££ others here will im sure add to this post.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I'd searched and found the horror stories :-(
I don't get on with the local ford dealer (I know *plenty* of people who have bad things to say about them) and usually use a small garage that we trust, and who most of my colleagues at the University I work at also use.
He has all sorts of electronic gadgets and machines, but is the programming a dealer only job? Or just requires something clever (if he hasn't got the kit, he has a mobile electronics guy with more gear who visits when needed).
Would rather they did if it possible, even if it means it's off the road for a while.
Oh well. I nearly traded it in before Xmas for a newer one as well. Since then I've had the thermostat fail, and now this. It's as if it knows I was thinking of ditching it :)
Fingers crossed it's something simple - had a corroded cable on it a couple of years ago that was cut out and replaced. Problem then was that it failed and wouldn't set - this is the opposite :-(
Will report back when I know more, but I'm expecting the worst now... stupid bl***dy idea that EPB grrrr
Cheers,
Darren
 

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i would have thought it could be programed to your car by another garage, i have not heard about it being a dealer only job so that should not be an issue, It would be nice for you to report back that it was something simple but i suspect not!!! As for the EPB being a stupid idea i can see where a lot of members are coming from on this but from a personal point of view i quite like the idea of the EPB much nicer looking at a nice black rocker switch to activate my handbrake than a big long black lever sticking out the console, i also think the idea & concept behind it are good where it has come unstuck, ford has executed this concept by a poor design using poor quality components inside & also the excessive cost of replacing it,because im sure if it was a reliable system that very rarely broke & if it did was reasonable to repair we'd all be singing its praises,probably opened a can of worms with my views on this, but thats the way i see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I can see why some people like it. I prefer the feel of a real hand brake - being able to "feel" it to some extent and having full control. I've got used to the EPB, but would still prefer not to have it.
As for reliability, the car is now 8 years old I guess, and it's done 130k miles so I suppose I can't complain too much :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Ok, promised an update. Dropped car off this morning, got a phonecall this afternoon with good news \o/
Cable fault at the EPB unit. Cut out corroded piece and a new bit soldered in.
All works fine now - 68 quid all in. Much better than I was expecting...
Still, the car is on near 130k miles, the engine uses a fair bit of oil these days, and I occasionally get a warning light warning of "low catalystefficiency". Thinking it might be time to get shot before it gets really expensive :-/
Looking at the new CMAX on tescocars.com (3 year old, ex lease). Some tempting cars on there :)
Thanks for the advice, thankfully I got lucky...
Darren
 

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Great news mate you have had a great result there, ANY CHANCE OF PUTTING MY LOTTERY ON THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No that's good news, your right 130k on the clock & using oil may be time to off load while your ahead.
 

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Similar to other experiences on here my EPB has also gone. My local mechanic has removed the box and connecting brake wires with one of the brake wires damaged. The box itself is sealed water tight so he was not comfortable opening it. Local Ford dealership quoted £1700 (haha) for a new one. A web search turned up Blue Chip Autotronics based in Wales. For £150 they sort the EPB box unless there are exceptional issues which would cost extra (£60 motor / £120 cables). Both guys there seem very helpful. Sending my unit today. Will update
 

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Similar to other experiences on here my EPB has also gone. My local mechanic has removed the box and connecting brake wires with one of the brake wires damaged. The box itself is sealed water tight so he was not comfortable opening it. Local Ford dealership quoted £1700 (haha) for a new one. A web search turned up Blue Chip Autotronics based in Wales. For £150 they sort the EPB box unless there are exceptional issues which would cost extra (£60 motor / £120 cables). Both guys there seem very helpful. Sending my unit today. Will update
UPDATE - they had to reprogram the software, fitted a new motor as a precaution (free), gave the whole thing a clean up / refurb and replaced the brake cables all for £270.
Did it in a day with total turn around from sending to receiving back was 5 days. Highly recommend.
 
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