What to do When Your Brakes Fail

Monday, December 2, 2013

Car BrakesEvery driver’s worse nightmare is brake failure while driving. In addition, brake failure can cause accidents. However, the following tips will help you stop the car in the event of brake failure.

Remain Calm

Drivers often panic when the brakes fail. They often let go of the steering wheel which is a danger not only to themselves but to others on the road. Try to remain calm as only then can you try alternate ways to stop the car.

Take Your Foot off the Gas

The first step is to take your foot off the gas and also turn off the cruise control. Once you are sure that your car is no longer accelerating, inspect your brake pedal.

Check Brake Pedal

Pump the pedal to see how it feels. If your car’s brake pedal is slamming against the floor, you probably have a fluid leak or low fluid. You can try pumping the brake pedal a couple of times to get some fluid into the cylinders to apply the brake. Similarly, the brake may not be applying due to an obstruction behind the pedal. Try to feel with your foot if there is anything preventing the brake pedal from depressing.

Try to Slow the Car down Using Gears

You can lower the gears of your car to stop it if you have plenty of time. If you have a manual transmission, this should be easy. You can downshift from fourth to third or second and then eventually to first, and this should slow down your car. If you have an automatic transmission in your car, you can downshift to the low range.

Use the Emergency Brake

The abovementioned tips should work just fine if you have ample time to stop. However, if you have less time to brake, you should use the emergency brake. This will not stop the car as quickly, but combined with the abovementioned methods, it should work just fine.

If you ever experience a brake failure on the road, never take your eyes off the road. Try to steer your car clear of the traffic and make way to an open place.