What Should I Do if My Brakes Go Out?

It is shocking and terrifying to discover your brakes have gone out while driving in Grand Blanc, MI. And while you hope it will never happen to you, the best thing is to be prepared. If you are familiar with what to do, you will be able to stop your car as safely as possible. Here is what you need to know:

1. Do Not Panic
Easier said than done, but a clear head is important—most important when things go awry. If your brakes fail while driving, stay calm and do what you can to move your car safely off the road.

2. Check Under the Pedal
If the pedal feels hard, something in the system may have seized, or you have something stuck under the pedal. Check your foot see if anything is there. One loose water bottle can cause quite of bit of trouble.

3. Try the Brakes Again
It will come as instinct, but you should definitely try to use the brakes again. Most modern vehicles have a dual braking system. This means the front and rear brakes operate on independent systems. For your brakes to completely fail both halves would have to break down. And while half of your normal breaking power may feel like too little, it is enough to give you at least some stopping power. But you also need to pay attention to how the brake pedal feels.

4. Pump the Brakes
If the pedal feels soft and goes all the way to the floor you might have a faulty master cylinder, problems with the drums or calipers, or have low fluid. Pumping the brakes might help you at least build up some pressure. It may take a while, so keep trying to build up pressure. Then quickly press the brakes and keep them squeezed to the floor to make the most out of any pressure you built up.

5. Gear Down
Do not turn off your car. You will lose power steering as well as your brakes. Instead you can use your engine to slow the car down. Shift into the lower gears by moving down one gear at a time. Rapid downshifts could cause you to lose control. Instead, feel the car slow, shift down, and repeat.

6. Turn on Your Hazards
Alert the other drivers around you by turning on your hazard lights. They might not know exactly what is wrong, but the alert will help them pay attention and proceed with caution. Always keep your eyes on the road and steer around other drivers.

7. Apply the Emergency or Parking Brake
You can’t count on this brake to stop you, especially if you are going full speed. However, applying this brake can help slow you down. It will take longer than usual, so make sure you have plenty of room. You will either have to pull on a handle or push down on a pedal to apply the brake.

8. Zig Zag
Turning creates friction, which in turn slows you down. So if you have room to either side of you, steer sharply from side to side. But do not attempt this tactic at high speeds, or you might flip your car.

9. Use your Surroundings
If all else fails do whatever you can to keep your car under control. You will not always have a runaway truck ramp. Sometimes your best bet is edging up against the curb or guardrails to slow down. You can also seek out inclines or use gravel or dirt roads to slow down.

10. Look for a Safe Spot to Pull Over
If all alternatives have failed then you might have to “crash land.” You might consider hitting the back of another car as gently as possible or finding any shrubs or small trees. It isn’t an ideal solution, but sometimes it is the best you can manage.

Brake Service in Grand Blanc, MI
And if you experience any strange symptoms from your brakes you will want to get in for repair right away. Call Holly Tire for a brake repair Grand Blanc, MI check. They will look things over and get you safely back on the road in no time. Have questions about your brakes? Come by 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.

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