Automobile & Repair

What To Do When Your Car Brake Fails On Top Speed

Imagine you are on top speed and suddenly your brake fails, what do you do?

What To Do When Your Car Brake Fails On Top Speed

Don’t panic Overreacting to this situation will only make it more dangerous.

Take your foot off the gas and turn off cruise control (if on). Cruise control systems should turn off as soon as you touch the brake or clutch, but to be safe, make sure it’s switched off.

Pay attention to how your brake pedal feels. If it’s soft and goes to the floor, you may have low fluid, a faulty master cylinder or problems with your drums or calipers. You may be able to rebuild some braking pressure by pumping the brakes.

If, however, your brake pedal is hard and does not move, something in your brake system may have seized or you may have an obstruction under the pedal. Try to feel with your foot (or have a passenger look) to see whether you have something under the brake pedal.

Pump your brakes. Pumping your brakes several times may rebuild enough pressure in the braking system for you to stop. This may take a while, so keep trying. Keep the brakes squeezed to the floor.

What To Do When Your Car Brake Fails On Top Speed

Shift into low gear. Shifting into lower gears helps slow you by using your engine to slow the car. If you have an automatic transmission, downshift a gear at a time into low range (generally labeled as “1” on the shifting mechanism). If you have a manual transmission, downshift a gear or two at a time, feel the car slow, and repeat as you work down through the gears. Unless you need to slow the car as soon as possible, be careful not to downshift too quickly; rapid downshifts into first or second gear can cause you to lose control.

Use the emergency brake. The emergency brake, or parking brake or hand brake, can usually stop a vehicle, although it will take longer than usual to come to a stop because it only stops the rear wheels. Apply the brake (depending on your vehicle this is done either by pulling up on the handle or pushing down on the pedal) slowly and steadily; your emergency brake can lock your tire if applied too hard or too fast, especially at high speed. If you pull up the brake quickly, you may lose control of your vehicle. To prevent this, keep the release button engaged (if your car has one) as you apply the emergency brake. This allows you to modulate the pressure with which you are applying the brake.

What To Do When Your Car Brake Fails On Top Speed

 Keep your eyes on the road and continue to steer. Pay attention to what’s in front of you, and maneuver to avoid heavy traffic, pedestrians, and dangerous obstacles.

Warn other drivers and pedestrians. Turn your hazard lights on, and honk your horn to make others aware that there is a problem. (Be sure to know the location of the hazard light button prior to such a situation.) While they may not be able to figure out what the problem is, a warning should cause most people to proceed with caution and pay attention to what your vehicle is doing. Open windows to allow air resistance to slow you down as well as enable you to shout to other passengers and drivers.

If you have room on either side of you, steer sharply from side-to-side. Turning creates friction, which slows your car naturally. If you do not have brakes, try turning sharply from left to right over and over to slow your car down. Do not do this at high speeds. Turning at high speeds may flip your car and turning too sharply at any speed can spin your car around, so be careful.

Use your surroundings to slow the vehicle. If the above measures fail to stop you, or if you must stop very quickly, do whatever you can to get under control. Keep in mind, however, that these techniques can be very dangerous – especially at high speeds – and should only be used as last resorts.Small trees and shrubbery will slow your vehicle when all else fails. Large trees can be fatal. Hit the back of another car.. Be extremely careful not to hit too hard as your airbag may go off.

 Look for a safe spot to pull over (or to crash). Scan the road ahead for a safe area to pull over once you’re able to come to a stop. If you’re not able to bring the vehicle to a complete stop, look for open spaces that you can coast across without hitting anything

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