How to save your brakes?
Your braking system can send you other warning signals, besides odd noises and unusual “feel” of the brake pedal. If your car starts to shake or pull to a side after you brake, or if it leaves an oily residue on the pavement, or if your brake warning light comes on, it is time to visit a mechanic.
The only way to avoid making too many visits of that kind and to extend the life of your car’s braking system is to drive well. That means driving smoothly, anticipating what lies ahead and adjusting your speed in order to avoid sudden stops. It’s as simple as that.
Brake failures are not a common occurrence. However, if your brakes ever do fail to respond when you press the pedal, there are several things you can do:
• Check the space under the brake pedal (use your left foot or your passenger).
• Pump your brakes, pressing and depressing the pedal several times in quick succession. Note that this may not work on some anti-lock brakes (ABS).
• Shift into a lower gear to have the engine slow the car. Downshift smoothly through the gears, going one by one. If you downshift too quickly, you could lose control. Most automatic transmissions also allow you to manually select one or more lower gears. (Note that downshifting instead of braking on regular basis is a contentious issue in driving circles, so do your own research!)
• Slowly apply the hand or emergency brake. This is best done in conjunction with downshifting after the car has slowed down. If you apply the handbrake quickly or at a high speed, you may lose control of your car.
• If you have space, try swerving left-right. Expert drivers may even go into a controlled skid or spin.
• Switch on your hazard lights as soon as you regain the presence of mind. You may as well open all windows to make your car less aerodynamic.
Professional service ensures that brake failure won’t happen so make sure to book your service below and select the branch of your choice.