Steps To Take When Your Brakes Fail

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If you are driving along and find that your vehicle is not slowing down at all when you step on the brake pedal, you will most likely start to panic. Educating yourself in advance of a braking mishap can help ease anxiety as you will know the proper steps to take to get your vehicle stopped safely. Here is a list of steps to try if you discover your brakes are not working.

Pump Your Brakes

As soon as you have a no-brake condition, pumping the brake pedal may help. An air bubble can become trapped inside the brake fluid line, obstructing the flow of the liquid needed to make a successful stop. Pumping will move the bubble back and forth, often breaking it in the process so that fluid can once again flow freely.

If you have an automatic braking system in your vehicle, push the brake pedal all the way to the floor and hold it in place until the vehicle's computer takes over the control of the brakes for you. You will feel resistance as the computer informs the brake pedal to pump up and down to attempt stopping. Remove your foot from the pedal and allow it to do its job.

Pull The Emergency Brake

Every vehicle comes equipped with an emergency brake, which will bring your vehicle to a quick halt when it is utilized. The lever is usually located to the left of your steering wheel either on the lower dashboard or on the floorboard near your door. Some vehicle models place it in the middle console. Take a look at your vehicle handbook to find out where yours is located in case you ever need to use it. When you pull the lever, use a slow, firm motion. Pulling it quickly can cause your vehicle to fishtail, possibly causing further problems.

Drive To Slow Down

Try to downshift your vehicle to a lower gear in an attempt to slow the vehicle down, possibly allowing you to stop. If you are able to get to an area with an incline, it can help you slow the vehicle down naturally. Pull your vehicle to the shoulder and put on your hazard lights as you are trying to decrease your speed. This will help keep other drivers away from you in case your vehicle starts rolling in reverse after starting the ascent.

If your vehicle does not slow at all, you may need to hit something to have it come to a stop. Start beeping your horn so others know to get out of the way, and aim your vehicle so the passenger side makes impact to lessen the chance of injury. To find out more, speak with a company like Arringdale's Engine Rebuilding & Auto Repair.