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Discussion Starter #1
Only had my car 3 days and I've been embarrassed a few times at traffic lights by the electric parking brake!

I've had situations where the brake doesn't disengage. After a few frantic flaps up and down on the switch the brake has turned off eventually.

Having played with it a little outside the house I thinnk it is due to the system 'needing a hand' since it never seems to fail if I've got my foot on the brake pedal. I'm assuming this isn't supposed to be like this as a hillstart would be impossible.

The car came with a 3 month warranty from an independent dealer. Is there anything that can be fixed or replaced to make it better? Failing that, is thereaspect of the system that needs to be serviced?
 

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Hi Eddie, I am risking a fault on mine now asthe EPB has behaved perfectly, -so far!
As I understand it the clutch and/or brake pedal needs to be depressed to disengage.
Pressing the button to releasewithout either pedal depressed will do nothing.A hill start will involve finding the bite on the clutch and then pushing the switch. One touch and it releases.
Apologies for sounding like a condesending git.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah, thanks for the reply. I hadn't considered that the brake system might be 'clever'!

Using your theory, I've just done a little testing and it seems that it might be down to whatever the sensor is on the clutch. On a slight gradient, I'm ok because the clutch is quite a way down or pushed to the floor. However, when it comes to a steeper incline, problems start. If taking up the weight of the car brings the clutch further up due to the incline then quite often the brake won't release.

This problem will obviously be worse when towing the caravan due to the extra weight during a hill start.

So, with this new theory in mind, is there any adjustment on the clutch sensor? Can I make it more sensitive so that it will allow the brake to release at a higher point?
 

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Hello again Eddie. I have experimented with the clutch/brake scenario and mine is good to stilldisengage the brake with the clutch pedal almost released.
If I sit on the drive, press the EPB button and push the clutch pedal it will release the park brake just as the pedal gets 'busy'.(thrust bearingspinning )
I don't know how the thing senses but from your description it ain't right!

It does get a bit of getting used to andit is significant that Ford doesn't use it any more...............
 

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Discussion Starter #5
many thanks for testing this for me, Doris. I do appreciate it. I'll have a quick look at the back of the pedal and see if I can see anything to adjust. If not, it will need to go back to the garage.
 

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Hi!

I haven't quite got to grips with my EPB yet and there is no mention of it in the car users manual. Does anybody have a link to how you are supposed to operate it please?

I have found here: http://www.petercoopercarrepairs.co.uk/ford_focus_and_c_max_electronic.htm

Which talks about applying it, but how to you release it correctly and more importantly do a hill start with the thing??

Regards

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Tim,

The link you provided displays the instruction wording from the owners manual.

Basically, you pull the switch upwards to engage the brake (you hear a motor at the rear of the car pulling the brake on).

To release the brake you push the switch downwards. However, at this point you must have your foot on either the brake or the clutch.

To do a hill start, you would select first gear, bring the clutch up to the bite point and, just as with a normal handbrake, release the handbrake. The brake will disengage allowing you to drive off.

My problem is that the sensor on the clutch doesn't trigger if the pedal is higher than about 1/3 of the way up. Since my normal bite point is about half the way up this means that I can't release the brake at the bite point. I'm having to push the pedal all the way down, release the brake and then very quickly catch thebite pointduring the half a second or so that it takes the system to physically release the brake. On the flat it's not a problem. On a slight hill it's not too difficult but on a steep hill or whilst towing a caravan this is going to be a bit dodgy so I think it's going to have to go back to the garage to be looked at.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just thought I'd come back and update this post.

The car went in for this electric handbrake fault and also a slight misfire.

The EPB issue was solved by replacing a switch on teh clutch pedal assembly.

The misfire was more of a problem. The dealership put injector cleaner in but that didn't solve it. Then the dealership sent it to an 'expert' who then said it was likely to be the fuel pump breaking up (as is a common fault on this year of manufacture) and is likely to cost £1500 - £2000 to fix. When they took a look at it, they then said it would have to go to a Fraud garage because only they can read the codes on this particular ECU. The dealership then sent it to another garage who said it would be cured by taking the injectors our and cleaning them. This didn't fix it either. Then, the dealership sent it to another garage who have finally adjusted the EGR valve and tuned it properly. Now runs like a dream.

As a bonus, the dealership also spotted that one of the wheel bearings was whining (as I had suspected but was originally told was just tyre noise). They've replaced the entire hub as it was not a servicable item. They've done all this at their expense, given me a loan car, given me money for the fuel they've used, valeted it and given me a 6 month independent warranty which I can extend to a year for just £60. - Good stuff, eh! I'm well chuffed now I've got it back.

If you're interested, this dealership is Chris W Roads of Langley Mill. www.chriswroads.co.uk - I'm impressed so far, anyway!
 

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Hi!

I am interested in the switch on the clutch pedal you talk about - was it an easy thing to replace? Can you adjust it so it releases the handbrake with the clutch pedal higher?

I am still having the odd occasion when the handbrake button will not release and I think I am going to pull out of a junction and I don't, causing much swearing and frantic flapping of the [email protected]@dy lever.

Regards

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Tim,

Yes, this should be an easy fix for you.

Kneel down just outside the car and stick your head in underneath the steering column so you can see the tops of the pedals. Push the clutch down with your hand (it probably won't be too hard to push) and you'll notice a plunger type of switch. Basically, there's a flap on the side of the pedal and as the pedal rises, it pushes against the switch.

With the pedal pushed down, rotate the switch about a quarter turn and you'll then be able to remove it from it's mounting. It'sa bit like a baynet connection on a light bulb.

With the switch removed,the car will think that the clutch is depressed at all times and you'll never have a problem releasing the handbrake even if your foot isn't on the clutch at all.

Disconnect the switch's electrical connector and replace with a new switch from Ford.

That's it!

With the switch removed, I suppose there is a risk of accidental release of the handbrake. Also, if you have cruise control then you'll find it won't set. Apart from these two points, I think you could leave the switch off completely in theory.


Hope that helps :)
 
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