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When progress is bad news

Discussion in 'SEAT brand general discussion' started by Mr Pig, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    Earlier in the year I bought a Golf which has an electric handbrake. Over the ensuing months I have been struck by how monumentally terrible it is! Rather than just moan about it, I thought I'd detail exactly why it is a bad idea that should never have left the drawing board.

    1: More complex and therefore more costly and less reliable. Several mechanics have told me that they F-up all the time which is hardly surprising, with both electrical and mechanical parts there is more to go wrong and it's less simple to fix. With a simple cable handbrake you can work on it fully independent on the car's electrical system. Which leads onto...

    2: Needs electrical power to work. From dropping off the handbrake to push the car a few feet in the garden to full on breakdowns, you now cannot release the handbrake without power.

    3: Loss of control. With a cable handbrake you have total control over when the brake is applied, for how long, how hard it is applied and when it is released. With the electric brake control is relinquished to the computer when will operate the brake when it thinks it should, which may or may not coincide with your thoughts on the matter! Certain circumstances will cause the robot brain to decide that no, it's not going to let the brake off. For example if your seatbelt is not fastened. This leads to a lack of confidence in the brake being released at best and total guessing game at worst which is compounded by....

    4: The lack of feedback. With a cable handbrake you don't need to look down. You know where the lever is without looking, you reach to it and feel if the brake is on, off or anywhere in between. At all times your eyes are free to concentrate on the more important job of looking at what is happening out of the window.

    The switch for the electric brake returns to the same resting position irrespective of the condition of the brake itself and offers no tactile feedback on the brake. The result is that it needs a light to indicate the state of the brake and it's impossible to know whether the brake is on or off without looking at it. But even when it's working exactly as it is supposed to it will still muck your life up because...

    5: It's too slow. With a cable brake you can release the brake in an instant and at exactly the right time to coincide with whatever else you're doing. A good example being hill starts or grabbing the brake for a second in stop-start traffic on a hill. I've stalled the car several times on hill starts because the electric brake takes too long to disengage. You have to hold the biting point for longer than is necessary to give the brake time to get out of the way and grabbing the brake for a second is impossible.

    All of these things conspire to undo years of practice and turn something we have all done subconsciously into an action we need to think about. It is worse in every way and offers no advantages in compensation. I hate electric handbrakes, they certainly have no place in a car that pretends to be sporty, and when it comes time for a new car, what kind of handbrake it has will be a consideration.

    Rant over ;0)
     
  2. Bedlam

    Bedlam Active Member

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    Well I thought I would try a Launch Control in my Ateca, the Handbrake release delay was so ferocious I thought I had broke my spine :cry:
    Also, on another occasion. emergency braking clicked in unexcpectantly and the rear end pulled significantly to the offside
     
    #2 Bedlam, Nov 3, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  3. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    It's just....shite! We need to all start complaining to dealers, to manufacturers, telling them we're not buying these cars until they get the message.
     
  4. The Daily Meme

    The Daily Meme Waiting...

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    I thought the E-brake in the Seat had an auto fucntion? Specifically your point about hill starts, much like in the Mk3 pre facelift cars that had the hill holding function.
    Foot on the brake and the car holds the car until the clutch is let out. I find this actually really handy, I would have thought it would be the same with the auto function which also applies the handbrake when you come to a stop and then put your foot down to move off.

    Bearing in mind i have driven a facelift leon and a golf with the e brake, both manual, ive not had any issues drving wise. However, i can see the issues with the other things you mention. Mainly points 1-3. Do you not get a light on the dash when the handbrake is on? (point 4)
     
  5. martin j.

    martin j. Active Member

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    They are also a pain when changing rear pads, the car needs to be programmed to rewind the calipers, fine if you are the dealer with the right equipment but not everyone has access to this.
     
  6. Seriously?

    Seriously? Active Member

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    You forgot one: they're no good for handbrake turns:roflmao:
    Seriously though, I agree. I cannot get used to trusting the one on SWMBO's Leon. It makes backing down our sloped drive to within kissing distance of my already parked car a bit of a battle of nerves, especially as you have to powerer the car over a hump in the pavement and therefore can't just dip the clutch and let it roll.
     
  7. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    The one on the Golf does, but it's rubbish! If you put the brake in auto it will come on itself any time the car is stationary for more than a few seconds. Most of the the time it's fine but it will snag you up when you don't expect it. You try to pull away quickly and the brake doesn't keep up. I gave up on it.

    The pre-facelift Leon has a hill-hold function which works seamlessly.

    You say that as a joke but it's a perfect example of the loss of control inflicted by the e-brake. Why the heck would you implement a braking system on a car which is inherently worse than the simpler, cheaper previous one? I'd like to find the idiot nerds responsable and kick them in the nuts.
     
  8. martin j.

    martin j. Active Member

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    Repeatedly.
     
  9. Yern

    Yern Active Member

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    I make sure the auto brake is off when reversing down the drive up to my wife's car for this very reason.
     
  10. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    My Ibiza (2016 ST) thankfully has a manual cabled setup and very glad I am too as I do all my own repair and maintenance tasks. I've been aware of these electrically operated ones for some time now ever since I ran into one on a friends Passat. Luckily I have VCDS (VAG-COM) which allows for the retraction of the pistons for maintenance but I learned recently that it's relatively simple to unbolt the electric motor and then wind back the piston manually. I've never done this so don't know the fine detail but it looks like a solution for those without the electronic solution? Personally I wouldn't give driveway space to one, even with the availability of my VCDS!

    I'm also becoming increasingly nervous about inlet carbon fouling on our direct injection engines. There is absolutely shed loads of stuff about this on the net and some very graphic you tube videos to watch if you don't know what I'm referring to. Cleaning it all out doesn't look like a particularly technically difficult job to do but it does look as if it involves removing quite a bit of gear (on my CHZB engine the water cooled intercooler has to come off just for starters - It's going to be "mucky" too! Ah well, I suppose it will give me the nudge to change the coolant at the same time - Ha Ha. It's been years since decarbonizing cylinder heads was a regular maintenance job, what on earth is going on that they have now seen fit to design engines which suffer this scourge?
     
  11. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    Yes, I've realised the problems this can cause on higher mileage engines. When I was looking for a car I looked into each option and found many cases of serous reliability problems caused by the push for better economy and lower emissions. Several BMW engines and Ford's ecoboost engines spring to mind.

    The underlying problem is that most buyers are idiots! They don't do their homework on what manufacturers are actually doing and why, they just trust them. So tens of thousands of Ford engines destroy themselves and the Focus and Fiesta remain top sellers. BMW suffer terrible reliability and high repair costs yet people still aspire to owning them.

    Changing my car has come around quicker than I thought! The Golf is burnt, careful with fireworks kiddies, and I'm looking at cars again. One with a lever between the seats definitely gets more brownie points than one with a switch.

    Although it would have been nice if Seat had bothered to move the damned thing for the right-hand drive cars....
     
    Crossthreaded likes this.
  12. andycupra

    andycupra status subject to change

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    does anybody think electronic handbrakes are a good idea?

    oh you do? - well you're wrong.


    On the early ones there was loads of incidents where people got used to it being applied automatically when they switch off, only to one day leave the engine running, get out the car to do something and find the car wasn't where they left it...
    People used to have to drive a car, you had to pay attention, you knew if you were going fast, and you knew if you were a good driver or not fairly quickly if you got a fast car.
    These days many people depend on technology, they don't pay attention as they used to, they have STUPID accidents, are not aware of their actions or dangers and are basically morons waiting to have an accident or hurt someone,
    electronic handbrakes represent a technology that's cheap to make but is sold as progress, - much like touch screens, cheaper to make than proper buttons and mechanical parts, but are sold as progress and so they charge you more for it. (and bend you over if it goes wrong).
    People drive along staring at the touch screen which is lighting up their car so much at night they can barely see where they are going and wonder why they regularly return the car with damaged wheels. meanwhile us old enough to remember old technology never had to take out eyes of the road the operate everything we needed in the car.
    mini rant over
     
    #12 andycupra, Nov 7, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
    Crossthreaded and Mr Pig like this.
  13. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    I so agree. It's the little things. I always loved the three knobs Ford used for heating and air control. You could set the vents etc without looking as you learned where to point the knobs. The smooth, round knobs on most cars today, Leon included mean that you have to look at the knob to know where it is.

    Or dimming the dash lights at night. If you're driving in the dark and want to dim the dash lights, the last thing you want to do is go through a menu in the infotainment system to do it. But that's what you need to do. Used to be you just rolled a dial on the dash.

    So cars look less cluttered but are harder to operate.
     
  14. andycupra

    andycupra status subject to change

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    i currently drive an alfa, so i need to accept qwerks, but honestly this can apply to most cars:

    F***ing 'automatic heating/climate control'. - so 70%of the year i have it set so its how i like it: top and bottom vents open, middle closed and NO heating. Fine, but this time of year i need to use the heating but have always found the lowest temperature setting is too warm. Not initially as the car heats up i accept, but you get in the car, coat on as its cold and initially you wait for the car to warm up, but then eventually you are sat in a car with heating on i feel while wearing a thick coat even at the lowest temp its too warm, so i want to turn the heating off and turn the dial down once to 'low'.
    What happens? it turns on the air con, increases fan speed to maximum and changes the vent settings... So, lets think what i have to do to simply not heating..: turn off the air con, press the fan speed 6 times to reduce it to my usual low setting, then press 3 buttons to get the fans back to what i want them. TEN BUTTONS, - i need to press after i have turned the temperature dial down. FFS this is not progress!

    It wasnt much better in the Mk1 leons, but eventually i realised if you have it set to demist mode you would have to press lots of buttons initially but after you get it set as you like then it would not change while you remained in demist mode. any other mode again it went mad.
     
  15. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig Active Member

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    Most instances were they decide to take control of basic functions away from you and give it to the computer, the result is annoying and worse.
     

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