How to come to a complete stop if your brakes are not working is information every driver should know. If you are prepared for the chance that your brakes might not work, you will be better able to handle your vehicle in the stressful situation. Here are a few ways you can get your vehicle to come to a stop if your brakes are not longer working properly.
Use Pumping Action
If you place your foot upon the brake and your vehicle doesn't flinch to come to a stop, try pumping your brake pedal up and down, with a quick, steady motion. If an air bubble had become trapped within the brake fluid going through the brake lines, the fluid would not be getting through to the brakes to stop your vehicle. Pumping helps get around this problems
In a vehicle with an automatic braking system, you would need to press down on the brake pedal so it is all the way down to the floor instead of pumping. Keep it in place until you feel resistance and then remove. The computer in your vehicle will then take over, doing the pumping motion to help the fluid get to the brakes to stop your vehicle.
Try Shifting Gears
Try shifting your vehicle from drive to a lower gear. These gears are used to help your vehicle get up hills or slow down in inclement weather. Switching to a lower one may help slow down your vehicle so you can get it to a stop. If you are in an area where you are not driving down a hill, move your vehicle to the side of the road so it is out of the way of oncoming traffic and shift it into neutral. This will slow your vehicle so you can stop it and call for help.
Pull The Emergency Brake
All vehicles come equipped with an emergency brake to use in situations where the regular brakes are not enough to stop the vehicle from moving. These are usually used when you park on a steep hill, as reassurance your vehicle will not roll. The emergency brake is usually located to the left of the driver's seat somewhere on the bottom of the dashboard or on the floor. In a few vehicles it is located in the middle console.
Make a point of looking for this brake so you are aware of its location in case you should need it. When using the emergency brake, pull in a slow but steady motion. If you pull it quickly, you risk having your vehicle fishtail or spin out of control.
For more information on how to operate your vehicle while you wait for repairs or new auto parts, talk to a professional mechanic in your area.
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