Brake Failure: What You Need to Know
Emergency! What Do You Do?
Stop! That may be the single word you think to scream at your vehicle if you suddenly discover that your brakes have failed. We’d like to offer tips to help you navigate that emergency if you find yourself in such a situation. Be aware that your safety is our top priority, so we’re here to help you with preventive maintenance services that can help you “stop” a brake failure before it happens. In either case, Braaten’s Quality Auto Service in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has ASE certified technicians at the ready to assist with all your brake repair needs.
What to Do In the Moment if Your Brakes Fail
If you discover that you have no brakes, try “pumping.” That’s the action of quickly and repeatedly pressing and releasing the brake pedal to see if you can create enough fluid pressure to slow your car. It’s particularly helpful if you have a breach that has allowed some, but not all of the brake fluid to leak out. If the brakes begin to work, slow down and stop. Do not keep driving. Remember that you also have an emergency/parking brake. Fortunately, most drivers will need this only for ensuring that the auto doesn’t roll from its resting position. However, it is also there to help you in a crisis. Don’t pull or push to the maximum level all at once. Rather, gradually apply force (by pushing or pulling) until the car slows. Your transmission can also assist you. If you drive a manual, you can use downshift procedures. In an automatic, lift off the accelerator. Steer the vehicle into the safest area you see and away from people, other cars, or large fixed objects such as buildings or trees. Once you’re stopped, shut off the engine. You should not, however, do this until your car comes to rest because it will kill the power to other systems such as power steering. That can make it harder for you to avoid people and hazards. Call for a tow rather than trying to drive your automobile from the area where you stopped.
Preventing Sudden Brake Failure
Although there is always a risk of sudden brake failure due to circumstances beyond your control (such as road debris puncturing a brake line), most serious problems can be prevented with routine inspections, regular maintenance, and timely repairs. Count on Braaten’s Quality Auto Service to help you take care of your brake repair needs. Stop by either of our two locations to be sure that you can indeed STOP.