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Current: 2010 outback 2.5i, 2012 Legacy, 2011 Imprezza. Past: 2008 Imprezza, 2004 Outback, 1996 outback, 1988 GL-10
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Discussion Starter #1
I had a 2010 2.5 standard and yesterday when I engaged the parking brake before exiting the vehicle, without shutting it off, it made the sound of a parking brake engaging, however, the brake either disengaged or failed to set. The car rolled down my driveway, crossed the road, went off a cliff and struck a tree. I always engage my parking brake because my driveway is an incline. In the past the electronic emergency brake has failed to disengage, and I believe on one of two other occasions failed to engage. I pressed the button, it made the appropriate sounds but the light didn't stay lit and if the brake ever engaged it disengaged promptly. 1) Is the electronic brake supposed to disengage when you depress the gas pedal? 2) has anyone else had the problem of their emergency brake failing to engage even after making sounds like it was engaging? 3) Has anyone else had a problem with their emergency brake failing to disengage?
Thanx!
Juris:confused:
 

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11yrs living on a steep Street in San Francisco we saw runaway cars every weekend. Your parking brake is no different than the pull lever one I had in our old Subaru. What makes them different? My wife can actually get enough parking pressure on the electronic parking brake to hold the car. The pull style one not so much can't tell you how many times I went out to find the only thing keeping our car from taking off down the street was our neighbors car it was resting against LOL

The physical brake mechanism is identical to the old pull handle. The only difference is that your pushing a button which has whats essentially a winch that cranks the cable tight that holds the parking brake shoes to the drum.

If you exit your vehicle it should always be in Park and before getting out of the car you make sure the parking brake is going to hold the car. If you ramp launch boats as much as I do your biggest fear is having your car run down the ramp and take a dip after step out of it to get the boat.

I've seen enough vehicles take dips and roll down our SF hill to say that 99% of the time its always user error.

Oddly enough the #1 Airport accident reported with private aircraft are planes rolling away from the pilot because they forgot to set the parking brake.

Could your car have a broken parking brake? Possibly but you would be an extremely rare case if that were true.
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT, in Crystal White Pearl
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If you put the car in gear (D or R), or if it was left in gear, then the next time that the gas pedal is depressed, the parking brake is immediately released.

If the car is in Park, then pressing the gas pedal shouldn't release the brake.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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Is the electronic brake supposed to disengage when you depress the gas pedal?
Yes, but ONLY if all doors are closed and the driver's seatbelt is buckled.
IIRC, the key must also be in the ignition (not 100% sure on that one).

...that's for a 2011, 2.5i w manual transmission,

Looby
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2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i 6spdMT
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Believe he has a manual (stated: "Standard") and must leave his car in the Neutral position. I almost always park in 1 or R for just this reason :-\
 

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Yes, but ONLY if all doors are closed and the driver's seatbelt is buckled.

.
Looby - the one thing I've wonder about is given how easy it is to press or pull the parking button. Is how easy it would be for someone not paying attention to what they are doing to manually release it and step out of the car.

Every morning I pull on the button and have it released before my seat belt goes on. There is a very small window of time where the system will release the brake without the seat belt. You need your foot on the brake and it doesn't seem to matter which position the shifter is in. I could easily send my car out of the driveway if I do the right combo of actions all of them would be user error of course.
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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Every morning I pull on the button and have it released before my seat belt goes on.
There is a very small window of time where the system will release the brake...
My drill is the opposite -- I usually start the car, belt up, put it in gear, then drive
away without touching the ebrake. It releases automatically when I touch the gas.

Also, mine is a 6MT, so I never paid attention to how it's supposed to work w CVT.

On shutting down, I tend to be OCD about remembering to set the ebrake -- I
never have/had that problem with manual brake levers between the seats, but
I absolutely hate the ebrake button location on the OB. IMO, it's easy to forget
because it departs from the "muscle memory" habits ingrained over decades
of driving cars with ebrakes in "the right place." (I always leave it in 1st gear
or reverse, as well -- but that's just to slow it down in case the ebrake fails.)

I notice that SoobieOfGermany has finally moved the ebrake button to where it
belongs -- on the freakin' center console! Wonder whether the plastic assembly
would fit a Murican Soobie?

Looby
 

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I bet its more common for CVT owners to manually release the brake given the CVT delay to hit reverse and Drive when you move the selector. LOL

My habit of releasing it manually is also due to how many times I move the car without the belt on. I don't like having the belt on when doing ramp launching with the boat - some how the idea of being strapped into the car and rolling backwards or sliding backwards into a body of water isn't appealing to me. HA HA - so doing the same exact parking brake use in all my vehicles every time avoids mistakes- manually release it before going etc. If you hesitate for a few seconds once the car is started the system won't let you manually release it without belts and foot on brake.
 

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2008 subaru outback 2.5i
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how does the electric brake work? and why did they go electric? I never had any problem with Mechanical/cable Ebrakes.. i can lock the rear tires on any vehicle i ever owned with the Ebrake
 

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I too am saddened to see the move to the e-brake as well. I love the "old fashioned " manual parking brake as in the winter, or on gravel roads, you can use the manual brake to control the car. I guess this is not taught in the US anyway so dumbing down the cars is the way to go for most manufacturers.

My early pre-ABS SAAB 900 had the parking brake working on the front wheels and in the winter on icy roads the car would stop straight without skidding. Of course you have to drive at the appropriate speeds to make it all work, but work it did..
The e-brake has the hill holder function which works well on boat ramps, but I never had an issue with the manual stuff...
 

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... SoobieOfGermany has finally moved the ebrake button to where it
belongs -- on the freakin' center console! Wonder whether the plastic assembly
would fit a Murican Soobie?
PRESS > As passenger simultaneously, “Wut’s this here butt’n fur”.
 

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how does the electric brake work? and why did they go electric? I never had any problem with Mechanical/cable Ebrakes.. i can lock the rear tires on any vehicle i ever owned with the Ebrake
#1 Women have far far more influence on vehicle purchase decisions than ever before. I have never met a woman that didn't complain about the old pull style hand brakes.
The women in my life also never pulled the parking brake tight enough to keep the car from rolling to start with - often times not due to the lack of strength but because they couldn't release it later. Not enough strength to lift and press the button to release the brake.

#2 Parking Brake has been one of the most improperly used pieces of equipment on all cars

#3 Thanks to a friend who has been called to many really bad accidents over the years - catching a parking brake lever under your rib cage during a bad accident apparently is a pretty ugly scene.
 

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If you have a manual transmission, you should leave the car in 1st gear before applying the parking brake. This will give you backup of helping hold the car in place if the parking brake doesn't engage fully or at all. Not as secure though.

With an automatic, setting it in Park is similar in effect.
 

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Believe he has a manual (stated: "Standard") and
must leave his car in the Neutral position.
As I understood the OP, he has a manual transmission AND
he got out of the car while the engine was still running (so
it must have been in neutral).

That makes it sound as if the ebrake possibly did release
(or fail in some other way) AFTER he got out -- because,
if he had just "forgotten" to set the brake, he would have
noticed that it was already rolling before he stepped out.

.
 

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As I understood the OP, he has a manual transmission AND
he got out of the car while the engine was still running (so
it must have been in neutral).

That makes it sound as if the ebrake possibly did release
(or fail in some other way) AFTER he got out -- because,
if he had just "forgotten" to set the brake, he would have
noticed that it was already rolling before he stepped out.

.
Or the OP parked on a very slight incline, got out of the car and didn't notice it ever so slowly starting to roll onto the steep driveway.

IMO, the rate of mechanical failure is probably the same regardless of electric v manual. However I agree with Subiesailor, and have seen first hand, the inability of people to set manual brakes properly. My ex's Jeep ended up in our alley one night, luckily she had it engaged in gear so it just creeped down overnight, but it was solely because she couldn't pull the brake hard enough to engage it properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I should have specified that the car is a manual 6 speed and it was making the sound like the electric brake was setting when I was getting out of the car. Its steep enough so that if it was never set it would have rolled immediately when I took my foot off the brake. I had driven about .5 miles round trip and was going to let the car run to warm up more because it was cold outside. I was about 20 feet from the car when it made a groaning sound then started rolling. The thing is this, it has done this before but not in my driveway. Last winter the brake wouldnt set right for a few days when it was really cold so I chocked the tire to be sure. It was not doing it anymore when I went to the dealer and they just set and unset it once and said "its fine!" I am not complaining about the electric emergency brake, I kinda like the idea, well, until it failed...
 

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I should have specified that the car is a manual 6 speed and it was making the sound like the electric brake was setting when I was getting out of the car. Its steep enough so that if it was never set it would have rolled immediately when I took my foot off the brake. I had driven about .5 miles round trip and was going to let the car run to warm up more because it was cold outside. I was about 20 feet from the car when it made a groaning sound then started rolling. The thing is this, it has done this before but not in my driveway. Last winter the brake wouldnt set right for a few days when it was really cold so I chocked the tire to be sure. It was not doing it anymore when I went to the dealer and they just set and unset it once and said "its fine!" I am not complaining about the electric emergency brake, I kinda like the idea, well, until it failed...
Cold temps can put ice in moving bits manual or otherwise parking brakes can suffer temporary problems till the ice is melted or knocked loose.

With manuals its never a good idea to exit the car while its running and in neutral. There is also zero reason to do this with a properly working car that starts up correctly. MT should always be in gear and shut off when the driver exits their drivers seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have lived here for 20 years and never ever owned an automatic. This car is the first to ever have a problem with an emergency brake, so I agree with this one you cant leave it because the emergency brake is unreliable or malfunctions. I have owned 7 Subarus all standards and have warmed them up in the driveway without any incident ever. The reason you warm it up isn't for the functioning of the car Mr. San Francisco its for the functioning and comfort of the middle aged driver. You probably don't get this in California but your hands literally hurt on a sub zero steering wheel. :)
 

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I totally understand your reasons for warming up the car, and don't fault you at all for what happened. I can't tell you how many times I've done similar stuff but avoided catastrophe only through luck. I realize I always like to have 2 methods (e brake and tranny) to keep a car from rolling, if on a hill-3 (curb your wheels or chock it).

So is the car totaled, or can it be fixed?
 

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juris, thanks for clarifying.

I too understand why you need to warm a car up, and have done it countless times. Ideally you "should" have more than one method to hold the car, but you should also be able to rely on the methods given to you.

I am curious to know what caused the failure. Whether it was a failure with a mechanical part, an electrical malfunction, or a combo of the both. I know in my Forester, with a manual brake, there have been a couple times I have pulled the handle up and it just doesn't grab, the handle continues back down. Of course with a hand brake I can SEE it's not engaged.

I still believe the rate of failure is no higher with an electric brake, however it's harder to know when it has failed, so the consequences might be greater. But then again, I'm sure there are alot of problems with parking brakes not set properly.

So how bad is the car?

If you ever find a cause, please come back and update us.
 
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