If you are driving along and push the brake pedal on your vehicle, but nothing happens to stop, you will need to think fast and act quickly in order to save yourself and your vehicle from harm. The braking system of your vehicle is one of the most important aspects, and when it is not working properly, all kinds of trouble can happen if it is not handled properly. Here are some tips you can use if you notice your vehicle isn't braking.
Start By Pumping
If you get no response from your vehicle when pressing on the brake pedal, try to give it a few pumps up and down quickly. There may be a stop in the brake line where there is an air bubble making the brake fluid not be able to get to the brakes.
Pumping will help push the air bubble through the brake line so the fluid will be able to do its job. If you have a vehicle with an automatic braking system, push the brake all the way to the floor. This will trigger the computer to take over by pumping the brakes for you.
Use The Emergency Brake
Every vehicle comes equipped with an emergency brake, which is usually located somewhere on the left side of your dashboard area near the bottom or on the floor. Some models will have it placed in the middle console area. Pull this brake to engage it if the regular brake pedal is not working.
Do not pull the emergency brake with a fast motion, as it can cause your vehicle to turn when trying to stop. Instead, pull the brake lever firmly yet slowly so the brakes will have a chance to grab.
Downshift To Stop
Try downshifting your vehicle from drive to a lower gear. This will help slow your vehicle, perhaps stopping it if you are able to drive in an area where there is an incline. To downshift, simply move your shifter from drive mode to one of the numbered spots on the shifter. This will make the transmission work hard to slow the vehicle. If you place the vehicle in reverse, you might be able to avoid an accident, but you will definitely ruin your transmission in the process.
As a last resort, try to hit something on the side of the street to bring your vehicle to a stop. Look for something that will cause the least harm to your vehicle and yourself and make sure there are no other people in the area. A guardrail or a small structure may be able to stop your vehicle.
Discovering that your brakes aren't working properly can be a scary thing. To avoid this situation, have your brakes checked regularly at an auto shop like Alaskan Auto Center Inc.