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Manually release GM electronic parking brake

Working with the GM electronic parking brake

How the electronic parking brake works

Most 2014 and newer GM vehicles have either a manual or electric parking brake that utilizes a drum-in-hat parking brake arrangement. These vehicles have an electronic parking brake switch in the center console. The electronic parking brake takes the place of the older cable operated parking brake. In case of insufficient electrical power, the electronic parking brake can be neither applied nor released.

The parking brake control module has an internal motor, apply actuator, release actuator and a temperature sensor. The parking brake control module also contains the logic for applying and releasing the parking brake when commanded by the console parking brake switch.

GM electronic parking brake

When the parking brake control module receives a signal from the switch, the internal circuit board temperature is checked to verify it is within operating range before the control module performs the requested operation.

The electronic parking brake must be in the released position before performing a rear brake job.

The correct way to perform a rear brake job on a GM vehicle with electronic parking brakes is to disengage the park brakes using a scan tool. However, procedure can be done manually without a scan tool. Here’s the procedure.

Manual electronic parking brake procedure

1) With the rear wheels blocked, turn the ignition switch to the ON/RUN position, but don’t start the engine.
2) Place the automatic transmission in PARK or manual transmission in NEUTRAL, as equipped.
3) Press and hold the brake pedal. It must be fully applied throughout the electronic parking brake cable tension release process.
4) Press and hold down the electronic park brake (EPB) switch for approximately 5 seconds while you watch the PARK BRAKE lamp on the instrument cluster.
5) When the PARK BRAKE lamp flashes, release and then immediately press and release the EPB switch. That fully releases the parking brake cable tension
6)  Release the brake pedal.

How to calibrate a GM electronic parking brake

The preferred calibration method utilizes a scan tool. However, it can be performed manually. Here’s the procedure.

1) With the ignition ON, apply and hold the brake pedal.
2) Push and hold the EPB switch down for 5-6 seconds.
3) Release the EPB switch.
4) Momentarily push the EPB switch down.
5) Remove the EPB MODULE fuse and reinstall.
6) Apply the EPB.
7) Release the EPB.

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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