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Question:

What to do if your car brakes fail?

I was talking to my friends today about this and one said to pull the emergency brake and another said to turn off the ignition??? which one is right???Thanks

Answer:

Pulling the emergency brake, definitely. There are two main situations. One if brake fade when you overheat your brakes, usually when you apply the brakes constantly as you go down a steep grade. You can prevent this by braking before the slope and putting the car into a lower gear so that you need to keep the GAS on to keep it at the speed you want, without using the brakes. If your brakes do heat up, the brakes usually feel normal, perhaps a bit spongy, but they don't react as well. In this situation, ease the brake pressure and shift into a lower gear to slow down the car and also use the emergency brake - use it gradually, step by step and keep the button pushed in so you are ready to put the handbrake back down if you need to. If neither of these steps work, try to scrape the side of the car gently against the guardrail or wall. So long as it's done gently and at conservative speeds - you can slow down quite nicely over time. Another possible situation is a (very rare) failure in the braking system. In this case, ease the brakes and push them again. If they still don't work well or if they feel soft or sink to the floor - press it intermittently for a few times and than squeeze it all the way down to use as much braking force as possible. Try to use the gears and handbrake, too, just like you would if your brake were to heat up. Always try to rely more on engine braking than on the handbrake, but do not shift directly into first gear. Try to go by the sequence. What NOT to do: 1. Do not pull the handbrake aggressively 2. Do not collide into solid objects (or any object unless there is no other choice). 3. Do not jump out of the car (this isn't hollywood) 4. DO NOT turn off the ignition. It does nothing to help in slowing down the car. On the contrary - it turns off of the brake booster and power steering. So, your friend who said to pull the handbrake was speaking the truth, at least partially.
May 28, 2018
Cars do not have Emergency brakes, no matter what spoken convention says. The word, as used, is a TOTAL misnomer. It is a parking brakethat is why it has that locking on feature - which you would NEVER find in a device designed to control a vehicle. Autos have had split braking systems since I was a small child, and even earlier. Brake failure will not and cannot be total and sudden. There are always clues that a failure is occurring, long before control is lost. If you experience a decrease in braking, just pull to the shoulder using what's left of the service brake. Turning off the ignition will cause a loss of boost to both the power steering and the power brakes. Not a good idea.
May 28, 2018
Almost all current cars have the braking system separated into two different parts, so if one fails the other two brakes are still operational. This will stop the car, but it will take more room. Also, you would NEVER turn the ignition off, as that would cut the power steering lock-up the steering wheel.
May 28, 2018

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