5 Steps for Stopping Your Car with Bad Brakes

How To Stop Safely When You Need Extra Space

AutoStream Car Care Center in Clarksburg, Maryland, has seen its fair share of brake repair jobs. Some repairs are minor, but others come with harrowing stories of drivers being forced to crash into some bushes along the side of the road to stop their car. With routine maintenance and inspections, you should be able to minimize the risk of failing brakes, but in the event of such a disaster, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the five steps for stopping your vehicle.

1. Lay Off the Gas

The first step is to remove your foot from the gas pedal. Sure, you may laugh at how obvious it seems, but when people panic, they may not act rationally. Therefore, keep your foot off the gas to allow your vehicle to slow naturally.

2. Get Into the Right Lane

Next, get to the right lane and then to the side of the road. If you are on the highway, then find the nearest exit and pull off. Remember that other drivers may not know anything is wrong with your vehicle, so they will still be driving at average speeds. By pulling to the side, you allow traffic to flow around you, minimizing the risk of an accident.

3. Pump the Pedal

Even failing brakes may have a little juice in them. Pump the brake pedal to build up pressure in the lines. After pumping, press down on the brake pedal and keep it down. If any pressure were built up in the system, it would help to slow your vehicle.

4. Switch to a Lower Gear

Next, switch to a lower gear. By shifting down, you allow the engine to help you slow down. If you drive an automatic and not a stick, then move to 2 or 1.

5. Use the Emergency

Now, with your car slowing down, you are ready to use the emergency brake. Press and hold the release button as you slowly apply the brake, managing the pressure. The emergency brake should be able to stop the vehicle, but you don’t want to use it at high-speeds because it can cause you to lose control.

While it is wise to understand what to do in emergencies, the best way to avoid these scenarios is with preventative and routine maintenance. If it is time for a brake check, then contact AutoStream Car Care Center and schedule an appointment.

Written by Doug Grills

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