Re: Have you had problems with parking brake cables freezing? Or is this one of the FOAF things?
Yes. *I*'ve had my brake cables freeze solid on three occassions. Being English and with 10 years of driving in the UK behind me before I came to NY I had the habit of putting on the handbrake before I killed the engine. I've also only bought cars with a real handbrake for my own use (US cars, including some of those with Japanese names like Honda on them, often have a foot pedal parking brake, which is damn near impossible to use for a controlled hill start).
And then I came home after dark to a car frozen over the course of the day down to the point when road salt doesn't work any more. Salty water had froen and turned the brakes into a solid mass. I ran the car in the hope the hot exhaust would thaw it out but no dice, and I was forced to drive slowly home with the handbrake on. It let go after about half a mile.
The second time was the next day because I automatically put on the brake when I parked in my drive. I had to get a lift to the station that day. The third time was, as they say, the charm and I no longer use the handbrake routinely.
I should point out that the car concerned had been dealer serviced for the entirety of its life and I had specifically asked for the handbrake cables to be greased at each fall and winter service. When the quadrants froze in the UNbraked position due to corrosion I had it out with the service manager, but really, what could be done? I can't get under a car any more and check for myself, and it gets cold enough here to freeze the grease anyway, which would make it crack and fall away.
So no, not FUD. And the freezing of parking brake cables/quadrants is a VERY common thing in NY so if any manufacturer really had a cure as some here are saying I would have seen it touted as a feature on a Caddy or Lexus commercial before now.
And when that original commentator said -10, he meant -10 F. And that isn't an unusual happenstance in winter. Like I said, it gets cold enough that exotic over-the-counter ice-melt chemicals don't work any more.
So you are dead wrong GBE. If you want to start using UK weather to do a comparison, go with the weather in highland Scotland, not Watford.