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Automobiles  »  Cars

What You Should Do If Your Brakes Fail On The Highway

By: Hans Stecken

Date Added : July 15, 2011 Views : 480
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As with any sudden event when driving the biggest key is to avoid panic. Remaining calm can mean the difference between successfully handling the situation and having serious injury to yourself or others. Panic causes people to react poorly to highway situations. In general, your actions can be quick, but inputs should be smooth, not jerky.

If you're on a highway and trying to exit, consider the fact that you might be better off taking the next exit. It puts you in a better situation to handle the situation smoothly and rationally.

Examine the feel of the pedal. Does it feel normal or is it soft and goes quickly to the floor? There are several possible reasons why your brakes might not be working properly. One possibility is low fluid from a leak in the brake line causing fluid to leak. It's possible that some kind of debris from the road (a sharp object) can flip up and cut one of your brake lines. Some people like to replace their brake lines with lines covered with braided stainless steel to prevent this from happening. Another possible reason for brake failure is a problem with the master cylinder. That's a much more expansive repair but if it's truly faulty it's not one you can avoid.

If your pedal is hard and doesn’t want to move, make sure that there are no obstructions to the brake pedal. A common problem is a misplaced floor mat. It can bunch up under the brake pedal, preventing you from properly applying the brakes. Make sure your cruise control is turned off. It should automatically turn off when you use your brakes but manually turn off the cruise control to be certain.

Try pumping the brake pedal to build pressure. Even if you have a leak it's not likely that all the fluid is gone. This should work, but only as a temporary measure. Try shifting into the next lower gear as long as your speed allows it. You should note that a sudden downshift can do more harm than good. Another tactic is carefully apply the emergency brake, but it's likely to require a good deal of effort.

Maintain your awareness of the cars around you while you handle this situation. If you're in rush hour traffic you need to be prepared to take evasive action off to the shoulder if the car in front of you suddenly stops.

This is a situation none of us want to ever be in but the simple fact is that it is better to be prepared and know what to do so that you have a chance of coming to a complete stop with any harm to your or others.

Hans Stecken recommends buying auto parts from AutoWerksof America.

Article Source: What You Should Do If Your Brakes Fail On The Highway

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