How to Release Electronic Parking Brake with Dead Battery on a Volkswagen

These days, many automobile manufacturers are developing key components to make driving simple, resulting in a dramatic shift in the automotive industry. One such component is the electronic parking brakes. Electronic parking brakes, which operate via a button rather than a traditional handbrake lever, are becoming more common in cars. Find out how they work and what it’s like to have them with dead battery on a Volkswagen.

Keynote in this article:

  • How does a Volkswagen’s electronic handbrake work?
  • How do you release the parking brake on a Volkswagen?
  • What is the difference between a parking brake and an emergency brake?
  • Classifications of Parking Brakes
  • How do you release an electronic emergency brake when it is stuck?
  • When Is It Appropriate to Apply the Volkswagen Electronic Parking Brake?

How does a Volkswagen’s electronic handbrake work?

When a cable is pulled up, the typical handbrake lever tightens it. The rear brake pads, or shoes, are squeezed onto the brake discs, or drums, by this cable, which keeps the car securely in place. On the back axle of some cars, there is a separate disc and pads for the handbrake.

The premise is the same regardless of the technology a car employs: pulling the lever locks the back wheels, preventing the car from moving when you don’t want it to. Electronic handbrakes, also known as electronic parking brakes, work on the same principle as mechanical handbrakes but employ electric motors to achieve the same effect.


When you press or pull the button, the rear brakes press the pads onto the discs when you press or pull them. As the motors work, you can often hear a soothing whirring noise. When you pull away, most electronic handbrakes disengage automatically. When you bring the clutch up past the biting point and press the accelerator in a Volkswagen car with a manual transmission, it will release.

There is no industry standard for how much “gas” a Volkswagen automobile requires to release the “brake.” Some will release with just a tickling of the accelerator, while others will require a significant amount of revs.

As a result, learning to drive a manual automobile with an electronic handbrake might be challenging. The car’s tenseness at bite can be extremely noticeable, and the release can be rather painful. As you become acclimated to it, you might find yourself procrastinating. Driving a manual car with an electronic handbrake, on the other hand, quickly becomes second nature.

How to release the parking brake on a Volkswagen?

The parking brake, often known as the emergency brake, is a vital safety feature. It prevents your parked Volkswagen car from rolling down a hill or into traffic.

A hand-operated lever on the floor close to the driver’s seat, a pull handle under or near the steering column, or a foot-operated pedal are all common parking brake options. If you forget to release the parking brake before shifting into drive, your brake pads may overheat.

It’s simple to use the Volkswagen electronic parking brake. Simply press and hold the button and your car will be safely parked, with an indicator light to confirm that the brake is engaged. Simply depress the brake pedal, click the button to release the parking brake, and drive away when you’re ready.


It also frees up room in the automobile by eliminating the requirement for a traditional handbrake lever. As a result, there will be extra storage space between the front seats. Two geared electric motors on the rear disc brakes drive the electronic parking brake, which when activated, will keep your car firmly parked.

When the parking brake is engaged, indicator lights in the instrument cluster and on the button illuminate. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to release the parking brake on a Volkswagen:

  • Step 1: Take a seat in the driver’s seat and fasten your seatbelt.
  • Step 2: Figure out what kind of emergency braking system is installed in your Volkswagen. On a manual transmission, look for a hand brake on the driver’s side, a lever beneath the steering column, or a push pedal near the left foot, which is normally where the clutch would be.
  • Step 3: Start the engine. Put your foot on the brake that you use while driving while the car is still in park and hold it down.
  • Step 4: Pull the emergency brake lever back. If your vehicle has a handle near the driver’s seat, the lever will almost certainly have a button that must be pressed while moving the lever down.

If your car has one, pull the handle toward you until you hear and feel the brakes release. If your car has a push-pedal system, depress the pedal and release it. You should be able to feel the release of the brakes.

Put the automobile in drive and let go of the steering wheel. If you correctly released the parking brake, the automobile should readily roll forward or backward with little or no fuel.

What is the difference between a parking brake and an emergency brake?

What is the difference between an emergency brake and a parking brake? Because they both stop the wheels from turning, you’ve probably heard the terms used interchangeably, but there’s a reason for the differences.

Both are auxiliary braking systems that operate independently of the hydraulic system that activates when the brake pedal is depressed. Let’s take a deeper look at the difference between a parking brake and an emergency brake so you can see how they work and why they have distinct names.

The similarity between a parking brake and an emergency brake

It works the same way whether it’s called an emergency brake or a parking brake. Calipers clamp onto the rear wheel rotors to keep them from moving in these systems.

Auxiliary braking systems are more forceful than the brake pedal, which allows you to gradually apply pressure to bring your automobile to a stop. Because there’s no way to vary the caliper pressure on the rotors, it’s more of an all-or-nothing situation.

The parking brake

When your car is parked, a parking brake prevents it from rolling. Cars with manual transmissions have a parking brake that must be engaged every time the car is parked or it will roll away.

This is because a manual cannot be put into the park like an automatic. When you come to a complete stop and turn off the ignition, the vehicle remains in neutral. The parking brake prevents your vehicle from moving.

Parking brakes are also available on automobiles with automatic gearboxes. Although a car with an automatic gearbox may be put in park to prevent it from rolling away, using the parking brake adds an additional layer of protection. Engaging the parking brake is especially important if you’re parked on a steep incline.

The emergency brake

So, what distinguishes an emergency brake? Everything is in the name. Some manufacturers refer to it as a parking brake, while others refer to it as an emergency brake.

While the term “parking brake” implies that you use it every time you park your car, the term “emergency brake” implies that it is only used in an emergency. The truth is that, whether it’s termed a parking brake or an emergency brake, it performs the same function and may be utilized in a variety of situations.

When to apply both the parking brake and the emergency brake

When you park your automobile, you can activate the auxiliary braking system, which explains the name “parking brake.”

You may also use the auxiliary brake system if your standard hydraulic brakes fail, which is why it’s called an emergency brake. Two names for the same system that is meant to work in more than one environment.

Regardless of the nomenclature, the auxiliary brake system ensures that your vehicle stays in place when you stop and can assist in slowing or stopping your vehicle if the brakes fail.

Classifications of Parking Brakes

1.Parking Brake with a Push Button

The push-button parking brake (available in automobiles with an electronic parking brake system) is perhaps the most user-friendly.

To engage the emergency brake, just press the electronic parking brake button on your vehicle’s console. Simply push the button again to disengage the electronic parking brake.

Regardless of the sort of parking brake your car has, it’s critical to understand when and why you should apply your emergency brake.

2. Parking Brake with a Center Lever

The most frequent form of emergency brake is the center-lever parking brake (or handbrake). It comprises a lever positioned between your vehicle’s two front seats.

To use a center-lever parking brake, just pull the parking brake lever up. To release the handbrake, just press the button at the end of the lever and then push the central lever down.

3. Using the Parking Brake on the Foot Pedal

A parking brake system with a foot pedal (also known as a foot brake) has a little pedal to the left of the driver’s footwell.

The compartment under the steering wheel that holds the clutch pedal (in a manual transmission car), the conventional brake pedal, and the accelerator pedal is known as the driver’s footwell.

To use the foot brake, press down on the parking brake pedal until you hear a click sound; your parking brake is now engaged. To release the foot brake, pull on the lever just above the brake pedal.

How do you release an electronic emergency brake when it is stuck?

The parking brake in your Volkswagen may become stuck over time as a result of environmental exposure and other causes. Rust in the parking brake wire, for example, might cause your parking brake to lock up and stop working.

If you have a jammed parking brake, attempt to get your parking brake system repaired as soon as possible. While it may be tempting to attempt to repair the locked-up parking brake on your own, it is not recommended.

Why? Without the correct tools (such as jack stands, tire chocks, lubricants, and so on) and knowledge, you may be unable to effectively diagnose and repair your parking brake difficulties. It is recommended that you get your Volkswagen car’s parking brakes inspected and repaired by a professional.

A professional mechanic follows the processes below, such as:

  1. Install wheel chocks on the wheels that are not impacted by the parking brake (typically the front wheels).
  2. Jack up your vehicle and use jack stands to keep it high.
  3. Remove the wheel and look for the parking brake cable (if you have a mechanical parking brake system) or the electric motor (for an electric parking brake system).
  4. Determine what is causing the parking brake to lock or become stuck.
  5. Depending on the underlying problem, service, repair, or replace the parking brake components.
  6. Reattach the wheels to the automobile and drop it to the ground.
  7. Inspect the hand brake, foot pedal, or electronic parking brake switch for appropriate operation.
  8. Keep in mind that when you choose a professional to repair your emergency brake, you should make sure that they:
  • Are they ASE-certified?
  • Provide you with a parking brake servicing warranty.
  • In addition, only high-quality replacement components should be used.

When Is It Appropriate to Apply the Volkswagen Electronic Parking Brake?

Like many automobile owners, you probably only use the foot or hand brake when you need to park your vehicle on a steep slope, such as a hill. Furthermore, if your car has an automatic gearbox, you are likely to use the electronic parking brake even less.

Unfortunately, if the Volkswagen car’s electronic parking brake or emergency brake is left inactive for an extended period, the parking brake cable and other components might deteriorate and lose function. As a result, your emergency brake may fail to function when needed, posing a safety concern.

Furthermore, parking an automatic transmission car without using the hand or foot brake might cause wear and strain on the parking pawl. The parking pawl (or pin) is a tiny gear that is attached to the automatic transmission system of your car. When you move your vehicle’s gearbox into Park (P), the parking pawl locks your automatic transmission’s gears into place.

Every time you park your car uphill without using the emergency brake, you put a lot of strain on the little parking pawl. And the high stress might cause it to fail, causing damage to your transmission system.


As a general rule, use the parking brake whenever you park your car. Do it regardless of whether the terrain is hilly or flat and whether you have an automatic or manual gearbox vehicle.


When actuated, the electronic parking brake keeps your parked car motionless. However, if your Volkswagen electronic parking brake is left unused, it may begin to deteriorate and lose its efficiency.

To ensure that your Volkswagen electronic parking brake continues to function properly, attempt to engage it every time you park your car. In addition, if your Volkswagen electronic parking brake becomes stuck for whatever reason, you may need parking brake service.

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