How the Scan Tool Releases the Electronic Parking Brake

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Modern vehicles feature cutting-edge technologies designed to increase safety and convenience. One such innovation is the Electronic Parking Brake (EPB), an electronic system that uses electronic controls instead of conventional handbrakes to engage and release its parking brake.

It provides several benefits over traditional handbrakes, such as more effortless operation and more effective braking; however, when it comes to maintenance, it can be more complex to release this EPB system; that is where scan tools come into play! We will explain in simple terms why scanning tools release electronic parking brakes electronically!

What Is an Electronic Parking Brake?

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An Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) replaces traditional manual or foot-operated parking brakes with an electronic system consisting of:

  • Electronic Actuators: These devices apply the parking brake by pressing brake pads against the rotor.
  • Control Unit: This element manages the engagement and release of the parking brake according to commands from either a driver or a diagnostic tool.
  • Buttons or Switches: For convenience, drivers often utilize buttons or switches instead of levers when activating or deactivating the parking brake.

Why Releasing the EPB is Important for Maintenance

For proper maintenance tasks like changing brake pads or servicing the braking system, releasing the electronic parking brake is absolutely critical. Failing to release it properly could damage components or prevent repairs from being completed as required - thus making a scan tool invaluable in such circumstances.

What Role Do Scan Tools Play?

Scan tools are diagnostic devices used by mechanics and vehicle owners alike to communicate with a vehicle's electronic control systems. Scan tools can read and clear error codes, display live sensor data from sensors, perform various functions such as EPB release, and perform other related duties. They range from primary code readers up to professional-grade models.

How the Scan Tool Unlocks an Electronic Parking Brake

Releasing an EPB using a scan tool involves several straightforward steps.

  • Connect the Scan Tool: To get started, it is first essential to attach the scan tool to the onboard diagnostics (OBD-II) port on your vehicle, which is typically found near the steering wheel underneath its dashboard.
  • Turning On the Ignition: With your scan tool connected, switch on your vehicle's ignition. Engine starting may not be required, but all electrical systems should be activated before switching it on.
  • Accessing the EPB System: Use your scan tool's menu system to navigate directly to the EPB or brake service section. Each scan tool offers its interface, but they all typically provide easy-to-follow options for different vehicle systems.
  • Launching the EPB Release Procedure: To initiate the EPB release procedure, follow the instructions on your scan tool to initiate the EPB release procedure. It will communicate with your vehicle's control unit to release the parking brake, usually by sending a command to electronic actuators to retract brake pads.

Once completed, your scan tool will verify that EPB has been released, giving you peace of mind to continue with maintenance tasks safely.

Scenarios Where Scan Tool Use Is Necessary

There are various situations when it is necessary to use a scan tool in order to release an EPB:

  • Replacement Brake Pads: Prior to changing brake pads, the EPB must first be released to allow the caliper to retract fully - this process may prove challenging or impossible without an effective scan tool.
  • Brake System Servicing: Any in-depth servicing of the brake system, such as replacing rotors or performing maintenance on calipers, requires that the EPB be disengaged first.
  • Diagnosis and Repair: When diagnosing issues related to an electronic parking brake (EPB) or other integrated systems, using a scan tool to release it may help avoid damage while providing accurate diagnostic results.
  • Emergencies: If an EPB becomes disabled or malfunctions, a scan tool can override its system to release the brake, enabling safe transport or repair to take place.

Benefits of Utilizing a Scan Tool for EPB Release

Utilizing a scan tool to release an EPB can bring numerous advantages; one such example would be Foxwell NT909, which considerably speeds up this process.

  • Precision: The scan tool ensures that the EPB is released safely, avoiding damage to brake components. Accuracy is of utmost importance in maintaining the integrity of the braking system during maintenance procedures.
  • Ease of Use: Scan tools make the EPB release process accessible even to non-professional mechanics, with user-friendly interfaces and intuitive controls enabling easy operation even with limited technical knowledge.
  • Diagnostic Capabilities: Scan tools offer more than just EPB release; they also feature comprehensive diagnostic capabilities that allow for the identification and resolution of other issues with the braking system, helping ensure overall vehicle safety. This comprehensive diagnostic function can quickly pinpoint any problems, such as ABS issues or other system faults, beyond just EPB releases alone.
  • Efficiency: Utilizing a scan tool helps expedite the maintenance process. Instead of manually disengaging an EPB - which can take hours of effort - using one saves both DIY enthusiasts and professional mechanics valuable time and effort.

Foxwell NT909 features these benefits and makes an invaluable addition to any vehicle maintenance regimen.

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Releasing an electronic parking brake is an integral step in many maintenance procedures, and using a scan tool makes this step effortless and secure. By understanding how to use a scan tool to unlock an EPB, vehicle owners and mechanics can perform repairs and maintenance efficiently - not only extending the longevity of their braking system but also increasing the safety and reliability of the vehicle.

No matter, if you are an amateur mechanic or a professional technician, having a scan tool like the Foxwell NT909 in your toolkit, is indispensable for maintaining modern vehicles with electronic parking brakes. It provides precision, ease of use, and comprehensive diagnostic capabilities, making it an invaluable addition to your maintenance regimen.


What is an electronic parking brake (EPB)?

An EPB is a modern braking system that uses electronic controls to engage and disengage the parking brake, replacing traditional manual levers.

Why use a scan tool to release the EPB?

Using a scan tool to release the EPB ensures a precise and safe disengagement, which is crucial during maintenance or brake pad replacement.

Can any scan tool release an electronic parking brake?

Not all scan tools have this capability; it's essential to use a scan tool that specifically supports EPB functions for your vehicle model.

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