Having no brakes in a speeding, two-ton hunk of metal obviously isn’t an ideal situation, but it can happen to anyone. Like any part of a car, the brakes can easily malfunction if they’re not taken care of properly. Besides performing the routine maintenance your brakes need, make sure you know what to do when your brakes go out—just in case.
- Try the brakes again. Most modern cars have a dual braking system, meaning the front and rear brakes work independently. Both systems have to fail for you to be without any braking power at all. Try putting the brake pedal to the floor consistently to see if you can reduce your car’s speed.
- Down shift. If you have a manual transmission, this tip is self-explanatory—just shift down. For those drivers with an automatic transmission, simply take your foot off the gas. This simple action can cause the car to downshift on its own as it slows. Some newer cars include paddle shifters with an automatic transmission. You can help the car downshift to the lowest gear by switching to manual.
- Get out of traffic. It doesn’t need to be said that traffic is no place for a vehicle without brakes. As you begin to slow, switch on your hazard lights and try to pull to the side of the road.
- Don’t turn the car off. Turning the car off before you’ve come to a complete stop will also turn off your power steering, making your vehicle harder to control. Wait until your vehicle has come to complete stop before powering down.
Hopefully, you will never need to use these tips on what to do when your brakes go out. Make sure you come in to the Brown Motors Service Center to keep your brakes in working order!