Driving Tips: How to Deal with Brake Failures in a Car?
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Driving Tips: How to Deal with Brake Failures in a Car?

Suppose you’re driving your car at 80 kmph. When you apply the brakes to decelerate, you realize there’s a failure. This situation can happen to anyone and is sure to take even the most experienced of drivers off guard. Brake failure can happen due to any of the following reasons:

  1. There is not enough brake fluid.
  2. The brake pad or liners are extremely worn out.
  3. There is a clog in the brake master cylinder.
  4. Damaged brake hose.

Whichever is the case, brake failures are scary and we hope you never encounter one. However, just in case you do, here are a few steps to follow:

Step I: Stay Calm

When you push your brakes and realize they aren’t working, the immediate reaction is most likely panic. However, that’s one of the worst things you can do. We urge you to stay calm.

Staying calm will let you do the other things right. To start with, it will help you remember all the steps we list here.

Step II: Put Your Hazards On

When you put your hazards on, it will let the other drivers know that something is wrong with your car. The drivers in front of you, behind you and potentially around you will all know that you are experiencing some sort of vehicle difficulty.

So when you put your hazards on, they will let you have some extra space around your vehicle, which will be of great value to you at that time. It will allow you some erratic movements in order to bring your car to a halt.

Step III: Downshift

Downshift your car to a lower gear. It will make your car lose much of its speed.

If you’re driving a manual car, it’s easy. Just press the clutch and bring the gear down to a lower number. For an automatic car, there are a bunch of different options. Most automatic cars have a shifting option on the shifter. You can switch to that and then downshift. Some modern automatic cars have paddle shifters, which allow you to downshift.

Make sure you downshift into appropriate gears. If you downshift into too low a gear number, it might harm your engine. To avoid that, you can make successive downshifts if needed.

Step IV: Pump Your Brakes

Yes, this might work. Pumping your brake pedals might cause them to start working again, or may at least slow you down.

Step V: Bring Your Car to the Side of the Road

It’s very important that you move away from the faster moving traffic. Otherwise, slowing down, or erratic movements of your car might cause accidents. Also, bringing your car to the side will let it have more uneven ground to decrease its speed.

Step VI: Use the Emergency Hand-brake

Pro-tip: Don’t do it in a jerky fashion. Otherwise, you might cause your car to skid. Hold the lever tight, press the button and slowly start pulling up the brake. This will let your car decelerate slowly before it comes to a final halt. 

Step VII: Call for Help

Get your car towed to a service center and get your braking system thoroughly inspected by a professional. Make sure the necessary repairs are done so that no future incidences of such events occur.

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