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So the new '17 has an electric parking brake and I know more vehicles are going that route now... my concern is what exactly happens when the actuator for that fails somewhere down the road and it's stuck in the engaged position? Is there any other method to manually get the parking brake off? With the parking brake set the car cannot even be towed as it's a front driver and needs the front wheels off the road.
 

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Flatbed tow? Dolly tow?

It's no different than having a seized parking brake cable on a typical parking brake stuck in the on position, or a seized caliper that won't back off the rotor.
 

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One of the car testers expressed his belief that the parking brake would give trouble.

I wonder how they are in being able to take off from a hill. I feather both the clutch and the parking brake to do this successfully. Yeah, I know it is supposed to have a hill holder, but I'm still old fashioned. My wife pops quickly from brake to accelerator and likely makes use of the hill holder this way.

Ralph
 

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One of the car testers expressed his belief that the parking brake would give trouble.

I wonder how they are in being able to take off from a hill. I feather both the clutch and the parking brake to do this successfully. Yeah, I know it is supposed to have a hill holder, but I'm still old fashioned. My wife pops quickly from brake to accelerator and likely makes use of the hill holder this way.

Ralph
See my current thread here in case you missed it http://mazda3revolution.com/forums/2014-2016-mazda-3-skyactiv-discussion/187994-release-electronic-parking-braking-when-reversing-uphill.html
 

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So the new '17 has an electric parking brake and I know more vehicles are going that route now... my concern is what exactly happens when the actuator for that fails somewhere down the road and it's stuck in the engaged position? Is there any other method to manually get the parking brake off? With the parking brake set the car cannot even be towed as it's a front driver and needs the front wheels off the road.
I asked the UK Honest John web site about the Mazda 3 e-brake and they said Yes, it will release automatically (when starting off uphill/downhill), but by releasing it manually you avoid the consequence of any glitches causing it to not respond immediately and thereby any additional wear this may cause
Their advice is to manually release the e-brake wherever you can if you are confident doing this to reduce wear on the components.The e-brake actuator and control system are critical components and I would hope Mazda have done a good job in designing and testing them.
 
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