Be familiar with your brake system. Having your brakes fail while you are driving is a dangerous experience where quick thinking can cool reactions can potentially save lives.
At the first sign of brake trouble, try not to panic. Downshift to low gear. Sound your horn and flash your lights to warn other drivers. Work your vehicle into the right lane and then toward the shoulder. Be aware of other traffic around you and use your signals and mirrors for your maneuvers. Pump the brake pedal hard and fast in order to build up pressure. Most all vehicles have dual hydraulic brake systems that prevent both the front and rear brake systems from giving out at the same time. If after three or four hard pumps no braking is occurring, apply the parking brake. If the car starts to weave release it and reapply it and/or swerve into bushes or something soft. When you reach the right lane turn on your emergency hazard lights.
You should never drive a vehicle at any speed without brakes! Nothing more dangerous on the road than someone who can't stop.
Causes of Brake Failure
Brake failure can be a serious issue that can lead to dangerous driving conditions. Although it’s impossible to predict when brake failure will occur, it’s important to understand the causes of brake failure in order to be prepared in the event that it does. Here are some of the most common causes of brake failure:
1. Worn Brake Pads: Brake pads are an essential part of a vehicle’s brake system and are the main component that wears out over time. As the brake pads wear down, they become less effective at stopping the vehicle and can eventually lead to brake failure. It’s important to have your brake pads replaced every few years to ensure optimal performance.
2. Leaking Brake Fluid: Brake fluid is a vital component of the braking system and is responsible for transferring the force from the brake pedal to the brakes themselves. If the brake fluid is leaking, it can lead to a decrease in braking efficiency and can eventually result in brake failure.
3. Contaminated Brake Fluid: Brake fluid can become contaminated over time due to exposure to dirt, dust, or other contaminants. This can lead to a decrease in braking performance and can eventually result in brake failure. It’s important to have your brake fluid checked and changed periodically to ensure optimal performance.
4. Improperly Adjusted Brake Calipers: Brake calipers are responsible for pressing the brake pads against the rotors to create friction that helps to slow and stop the vehicle. If the calipers are not properly adjusted, they can create too much friction or not enough, resulting in poor braking performance and eventual brake failure.
5. Defective Brake Components: Defective brake components can lead to brake failure if not addressed quickly. The most common defect is a worn-out master cylinder, which is responsible for supplying pressure to the brakes. If this component is worn out, it can cause the brakes to lose their effectiveness and eventually lead to brake failure.
6. Overheated Brake Rotors: Brake rotors are responsible for dissipating heat caused by the friction of the brakes. If the rotors become overheated, they can warp or crack, leading to decreased braking performance and eventual brake failure.
7. Improperly Maintained Brake System: Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the optimal performance of any vehicle’s brake system. If the brakes are not regularly inspected, serviced, and maintained, the components can start to wear out over time and can eventually lead to brake failure.
In the event of a brake failure, it’s important to act quickly and safely. Always remember to check your brakes regularly and to have them serviced and maintained as needed. This will help to ensure that your brakes remain in optimal condition and that you’re prepared in the event of a brake failure.