5 Things you should do if your car’s brakes fail: How to brake safely?

When it comes to ensuring your safety while driving, the braking system is of the utmost importance.

Therefore, a vehicle’s brakes are the most critical component of our automobile’s active safety system.

To speak in favor of the braking system, we can say that it does not present sudden failures, which means that its deterioration or lack of functionality will manifest gradually rather than all at once.

5 Things you should do if your car's brakes fail

Every 20,000 kilometers, you should bring your vehicle to a reputable repair shop to inspect the braking system and ensure the maintenance book is always up to date.

This routine is essential to protect us from scary situations and other negative driving experiences that can condition our driving.

Therefore, engaging in these practices can provide additional protection when driving at high speeds.

On the other hand, traveling at a speed of 120 kilometers per hour with brakes in poor condition (while unaware of this fact) can result in a stopping distance of at least 20 meters.

Despite everything, one in every five cars driving on Spanish roads has brakes that are not in good enough condition to be considered safe.

According to the information that was provided by the RACE regarding the technical vehicle inspections (ITV), it was determined that brakes were responsible for 15.5% of the severe defects that were recorded, placing them in fifth place behind lighting, signaling, wheels, tires, and suspension.

Signs that indicate that the brakes are in poor condition

Discs and brake pads are the two components that makeup brakes and both of these components wear out over time.

Therefore, the wear rate will be determined by how we drive and the kind of vehicle we have.

However, what signs might indicate something wrong with the brake system? Let’s take a look at what they have to offer.

What should I do if the brakes on my car suddenly stop working?

Fortunately, some signs can indicate a problem with the brakes; however, if we ignore the warnings, the worst-case scenario can occur: you press the brake pedal, but the car continues to move forward in its standard path.

If you suddenly found yourself without brakes, would you know what to do? The following guide will walk you through the five steps needed to escape one of the terrifying scenarios in the world of engines.

1. firmly and repeatedly apply pressure to the brake pedal.

If there is a problem with the brakes, we first need to determine how to raise the pressure in the brake circuit if there is a problem with the pump.

By applying consistent and intense pressure to the brake pedal.

If we cannot reactivate the pump and, as a result, the situation does not improve, we will attempt to stop the vehicle using the engine brake, which means that we will decrease the gears in the transmission.

It should be emphasized that to engage the anti-lock brakes (ABS) in your vehicle; you will need to apply firm and consistent pressure to the brake pedal (without releasing it).

Pump the pedal instead, as was mentioned in the previous paragraph, if there is nothing wrong with this safety system in your vehicle or if the mechanism in question is not engaged.

At the same time, we must focus on keeping the vehicle’s steering under control because proper steering wheel handling can also allow us to avoid an accident by causing a spinning spin that brakes the car thanks to a rotational trajectory along and across a straight road.

2. Determine the least hazardous exit from the roadway.

Regardless of whether or not the car slows down after following the recommendation presented in the first point.

As soon as you realize that the brakes are failing, it would be best if you immediately begin planning how to exit the roadway while minimizing the damage you cause safely.

We recommend you maintain your composure and look for a braking zone for emergencies.

These areas are typically open to truck traffic; however, they can be a deciding factor in the situation’s outcome if you pay close attention to the signs labeled S-16 and read them carefully.

In this context, if we are not in the fortunate position of driving near a zone that allows us to apply the brakes automatically, we need to approach the shoulder with extreme caution and keep a firm grip on the steering wheel so that we do not put our lives or the lives of other motorists in danger.

3. Perform maintenance on the braking system every 20,000 kilometers.

Maintenance is the single most important preventative measure you can take to avoid a brake failure.

We suggest you have the braking system inspected in a specialized shop every 20,000 kilometers to reduce the likelihood of experiencing breakdowns.

Therefore, Consult the maintenance book that came with your vehicle; more specifically, the section that details when brake pads and discs need to be replaced. This is the safest course of action to take.

However, if you notice that the brakes on your vehicle are not responding as they should, do not be afraid to take it to a specialist mechanic; by doing so, you may be able to prevent a failure that is more likely than not to occur with the brakes.

Failure of the brakes can be caused by several factors, the most common of which are fluid leakage, the air in the braking circuit, overheating, and excessive wear on the pads or calipers, both of which can lead to failure.

4. Refrain from becoming anxious, so you do not lose control of the situation.

First and foremost, remember to keep your composure. You need to make an effort to think clearly and avoid allowing tension to cloud your judgment.

When there is an immediate threat, maintaining control of the situation is the most critical thing that can be done.

The first thing that you should do, therefore, is turn on any warning or emergency lights that are present.

Secondly, as was previously mentioned, you should make an effort to raise the pressure of the braking system by pressing the brake pedal aggressively and repeatedly.

And if the vehicle is not slowing down at this point, we will try to decrease the gear by making use of the engine brake, and keep in mind that the handbrake is the last viable option in a situation like this (we will analyze it later).

To summarize, much like other aspects of life, the optimal choice is always the one that is the calmest and most rational.

Suppose the limit situation does not occur on a slope or a curve (or in the vicinity of one of these features). In that case, we can assure you that you will have sufficient time to choose the best option by performing a speedy analysis of the current circumstance.

Remember that the situation’s risk will always differ depending on whether it occurs on a straight stretch, in curves, or while going down a slope.

This is something you should always keep in mind.

5 Things you should do if your car's brakes fail

5. Don’t even think about pulling the handbrake or turning off the engine; don’t think about it!

When faced with a stressful circumstance such as this one, there is a perfect chance that one will unintentionally do something harmful to themselves or others.

Therefore, if there is a problem with the brakes, you should never take the key out of the ignition or shut off the engine.

We say this because it is one of the most common misconceptions, but the reality is that this specific action poses an extremely high risk to the people traveling in the vehicle. Why is this the case?

Very straightforward: turning off the vehicle’s engine will, as expected, slow it down, but it will also stop the power steering from functioning.

Power steering is the device that makes turning the steering wheel easier by reducing the effort required of the person driving the vehicle.

As a direct result of this, the steering will become more rigid, and you will be unable to control the vehicle.

On the other hand, pulling on the handbrake is one of the most dangerous reflexes a person can perform in this situation.

You can use the handbrake, which in this instance will function as a rescue brake; if none of those above measures are successful, you observe that the situation is deteriorating, and the speed does not decrease (last ratio).

However, applying the handbrake if the automated braking system fails to function correctly is most likely the most complicated action and requires the most level-headedness.

Given the circumstances, you will need to pull the lever gradually and smoothly rather than suddenly at any point (as we will overturn).

As soon as you become aware that the car is beginning to slow down, it would be best if you immediately attempt to engage a lower gear and continue doing so until you can regain control of the vehicle and bring it to a stop in a secure location.

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