Wow, I read an endless stream of non stop garbage about these things!
Here's my experience:
Bought a 2005 Scenic II auto (really cheap), as the handbrake unit wasn't working at all (apparently, it stopped working after he pulled the emergency release) and the MOT was due. I put it in and it failed on one bulb, front brake judder and obviously the completely non functional handbrake.
So, I read the fault codes form it with my Snap On Solus (no, it DOESNT need to go to a dealer), and after many attempts of clearing codes, cleaning connectors, checking fuses and dismantling the motor, I came to the conclusion that there was no fixing it.
However, I also wasn't paying for a new one, so I phone round the scrappies until I found one (not easy).
I also checked
- I found 3 - one had the main cable cut (and so is useless - but it's still listed..), one hasn't replied to my question and one wants £250 for it!
Anyway, I found one local-ish for £80 (removed it myself).
Connected it up (battery disconnected, probably not necessary, but better safe than sorry), re-read and cleared any codes, et voila! Fully functional handbrake that will now pass the MOT.
No 'reprogramming' or 'coding' needed - just as two other local scrappies who had sold all of theirs told me would be the case. (One had 8 scenic IIs, all with the handbrake units sold and another had a waiting list for them - I'd have been number 4 on the list).
So DON'T get ripped off with the excuse of a new one needing coding or programming again.
Oh, BTW - if you fit one from a manual to an auto, it will have a permanent code for the clutch switch, and matching 'check parking brake' warning - and it will not auto-release. Likewise, logic dictates that fitting an auto one to a manual may result in similar strange behaviour. I'm happy to put up with that to not give Uncle Arnold £80.