Imagine you are speeding on the highway, you see another vehicle approaching, your legs reach to the brakes and you realize that the braking system is not working. The thought is enough to give your goosebumps.
Sudden brake failure can send even the bravest soul into panic mode. But instead of freaking out, maintain your calm and follow the tips that we have mentioned in this article.
But before we tell you how to deal with this frightening situation, let us walk you through the causes and signs of brake failure.
Causes of brake failure
A failure could be due to various reasons, including manufacturing defects, design defects, and more. In most cases, brake failure due to manufacturing or design defects happens without giving you warning signs.
Improper manufacturing can cause your braking system to fail almost suddenly. The use of defective materials or poor craftsmanship can also lead to manufacturing defects. Furthermore, defects like improperly installed hydraulic lines and discs also jeopardize the effectiveness of the brakes.
Driving a car with manufacturing defects makes you vulnerable to accidents on the road.
Design defects also occur due to the negligence of manufacturers. Manufacturers failing to test every part of the system to gauge the effectiveness and using worn-out or low-quality parts make your car susceptible to sudden brake failure.
Cracking brake calipers, leaking hydraulic lines, overheating brakes, and failure of the antilock brake system, are examples of design defects in the braking system.
Mechanic errors and other causes
Any negligence on the part of your car servicing mechanic can also contribute to brake failure.
Other causes include improper maintenance of the braking system, unsecured or imbalanced loads, improperly built rotors or drums, premature lockup, etc.
How to identify brake failure?
As already said, brake failure can happen suddenly. But in several cases, the system shows some signs of failure. If you keep an eye out for these signs, you can identify the problems early and tend to them before they lead to horrible consequences.
Here are the signs to look out for:
- Grinding, rubbing, or screeching noises coming from the system indicates problems with brake pads.
- Shaking or rumbling in your steering wheel or brake pedals hint towards problems with rotors.
- A burning smell oozing out from tires can be due to many issues, like friction between two elements.
- No stopping power even when pushing the pedal hard indicates heat build-up. It is known as brake fade, and it can take a toll on disc and drum braking systems.
- Brake fluid on tires hints towards a leak in the brake line.
- An always-on brake warning light.
How to deal with sudden brake failure?
Now that you are aware of the causes and signs of brake failure, let us tell you how to deal with a sudden brake failure.
- Pump the brake pedal multiple times to slow down the speed. It will also make your brake lights flash, warning the driver behind you. Also, turn on the hazard lights.
- If you are driving a standard car, shift to a lower gear. If you are driving an automatic car, decelerate to lower the gear.
- Pull up the parking gear. The tires may skid as you pull the parking brakes. Put your foot on the brake pedal to keep your control on the car.
- When your car has slowed down to 20 mph, pull your car off the road to a dirt, weed, or grass patch. It will create friction and bring your car to a halt.
Any problem with the car can hamper your driving experience, but a problem with the braking system can take a toll on your safety. Hence, make sure you are always ahead of braking system maintenance. If something goes wrong, get the system repaired or replaced. Check out this website for new brake parts for your car.