Brake Failure Tips – What to Do In an Emergency if Your Brakes Fail
One of the scariest scenarios a vehicle owner may encounter is losing his (or her) breaks in the middle of the highway. Who would not be afraid when your life or everyone in the vehicle is in danger? For example, if you are driving at a high speed approximately 90 kmh and before turn a curve, you start pumping the brakes. But this time, the brakes are not working. You will be encountering the greatest fear of your life. To avoid this, you must regularly maintain your vehicle or bring your vehicle to the nearest vehicle care centre. This will help you to prevent any further problem.
You can maintain your vehicle at your best, think that it is working great, but are you sure that you will not experience problems such as brake failure? To ensure your family’s safety when riding your vehicle, we would provide you numerous tips that you can do when you experience brake failures while on the road.
Signs Your Brakes May Be Failing
There are a few key signs your brakes may be on their way out, including a “mushy pedal,” the feeling that your car is pulling to one side, and a loud squeal when braking.
First, let’s talk “mush.” If your brake pedal drops to the floor at the slightest touch, it could be a sure sign your brakes need a check-up. Low pressure in your brake pedal could indicate worn brake pads, a fluid leak in your brake lines, or another problem with your hydraulic system.
Is your car pulling to one side when braking? This could be a sign of uneven wear on your brake pads, or that one of your brake callipers is stuck. If one of the callipers is stuck, you’ll feel a pull regardless of whether or not you’re braking.
Screech! Brake pads are designed to alert you when they need replacing, which is why they’re made with a special metal indicator. When the brake pads wear down, the indicator comes into contact with the rotor and makes a high-pitched hissing or screeching sound.
How to Stop Safely When Your Brakes Fail
Though well-maintained brakes rarely fail, you never know when the unexpected may occur. Make sure you know how to safely stop in the event of a brake emergency.
First, pump the brake pedal three or four times. This could help build up enough pressure in your brake line to slow your speed. Pumping the brakes will also cause the brake lights to flash, giving the driver behind you an early warning sign that something is amiss. If pumping your brakes doesn’t have the desired effect, turn on your hazard lights and proceed to the next step. If you can, now is a great time to downshift to a lower gear as well.
Second, gradually apply your parking brake. Pull up all the way on your parking brake. If you feel the tires start to skid, ease your foot back onto the brake pedal so that you don’t lose control. The parking brake has only half of the stopping power of your pedal brakes, so it’ll take about twice the distance to bring your car to a complete halt.
Finally, find a soft, safe spot to bank your car. Wait until you have slowed down to a speed under 30 kmh and pull off the road. Grass, weeds, and dirt all create more friction than pavement and will help bring your car to a complete stop. Now, take a deep breath.
Pro-tip: Whatever you do, DON’T cut the engine if your brakes fail. Although it may be tempting, cutting your engine will cause the steering wheel to lock and you won’t be able to control the car.
While brake failure may seem like a pretty scary ordeal, it’s very hard to lose all of your brakes. “Cars have dual braking systems, so if you wanted to cut someone’s brake line and cause him to drive over a cliff to his certain death, these days you’d have to cut more than one of his brake lines. And in the real world, without mischief involved, it’s unlikely that both halves of the brake system would fail simultaneously.” While a total failure is unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry when you’re traveling at top speeds on crowded highways!
Now that you know how to stop a car with limited braking capabilities, it’s time to do what you can to make sure you never have to use that knowledge.