Causes Of Car Brake Failure And What To Do When Your Brake Fails When Driving

Causes Of Car Brake Failure And What To Do When Your Brake Fails When Driving. Is there anything more terrifying than having your brakes fail completely in the middle of nowhere? This post explains everything you need to know about brake failure.

Causes Of Car Brake Failure And What To Do When Your Brake Fails When Driving


It’s unlikely for most of us, thanks largely to technological safeguards. Though it’s improbable, it’s yet conceivable. If your brakes fail, you must know what to do. An instantaneous choice may save someone’s life. It’s alarming to discover your brakes have failed in the middle of the road. You hope it never happens to you, but if it does, you’ll be prepared with a few safety recommendations to assist you to get to a safe halt as quickly as possible.
When the brakes on a car fail, it can be fatal.

Brake failure causes hundreds of car accidents every year. Unfortunately, a number of these collisions end in significant injury or death despite the driver’s best efforts. Brake failure in an automobile may be deadly, and it has resulted in several fatal accidents across the globe. Even fatal accidents may be prevented if the driver is alert to indicators of brake failure and takes action before the collision occurs.

Read also: 10 Most common car problems and their solutions

Causes of brake failure

1. Brake Pads That Have Become Overheated

When brake pads get overheated as a result of heavy usage, they might harden or crack. As a result, the brake pads lose some of their capacity to grasp the wheel rotor disk properly, increasing the stopping distance.

2. Ownership Abuse

Owner negligence is the primary and most prevalent cause of brake failure. Brakes, like many other components, have a useful life expectancy and should be tested for signs of wear on a regular basis. Despite the fact that certain brakes and shoe pads from certain manufacturers have a long lifespan, it is always a good idea to check your brakes before you drive. Brake and shoe pad life will be drastically shortened if you find yourself regularly having to stop and go in cities or neighbourhoods.

3. Through Water Or Mud

The brake pads and rotor disks will be naturally lubricated as a result of doing this. Gently tapping the brakes can remove any water buildup and restore adequate friction between the brake pads and rotor disks on your automobile. When driving in the rain, pay attention to the road conditions, particularly if your car’s wheels are often in the water.

4. Fluid Pressure Is Insufficient For Hydraulic Brakes

When your automobile has to stop fast, a drop in hydraulic brake fluid pressure might delay your brakes down. Braking fluid may be forced throughout the brake system by repeatedly tapping the brakes if they are not functioning or are operating just partially. When used sparingly, this method may be quite helpful in bringing a speeding automobile to a halt. The best course of action would be to have a brake professional inspect the braking system for leaks and replace the brake fluid reservoir.

5. There’s Way Too Much Stuff in the Car

Overloading your vehicle’s braking system might cause damage and alter the vehicle’s ability to stop. The owner’s handbook will tell you how much weight to put on your vehicle.

6. Engine Oil or Hydraulic Fluid Leakage

The engine or brake lines of an automobile may easily leak oil or hydraulic fluid. When stopping becomes difficult, it may be an indication that your brakes need to be serviced to rule out contamination from a leaky hydraulic line.

Read also: Top 10 best cars a young Nigerian man should buy

What To Do When Your Brake Fails When Driving

First, let’s discuss what not to do when your brakes fail before moving on to what you should do. When your brakes fail, don’t do any of these things:

1. Don’t get terrified

When things go bad, having a clear brain may be a lifesaver. If your brakes fail, be cool and make every effort to pull your vehicle off the road safely.

2. Try the brakes again

Unless you drive a vintage automobile, your car probably has a dual braking system that regulates the brakes on each wheel separately. For your automobile to lose all braking power, both half of the system would have to fail. Even if your automobile’s braking capacity is halved, you may still be able to stop the car if you need to. See if you can get the automobile to slow down by pressing the brake pedal firmly and consistently.

3. Use caution when applying the emergency brakes

According to Tech-Cor Research, if your vehicle’s primary braking system fails, you may try using the emergency brake extremely gently. It’s possible that using the emergency braking system, which is distinct from the main hydraulic brake system, can help you stop the car, but it will take longer than using the standard brake pedal to do it.

4. Put the transmission in lower drive gears

You may also use your car’s engine to assist slow it down by keeping your foot off the accelerator and downshifting. Slow the automobile down by shifting down in the gearbox if you have one. Your automobile should downshift to a lower gear when it slows as long as you have an automatic gearbox.

You may want to use the paddle shifters (if available), which are levers on the steering wheel of cars that have this feature, or set your transmission to manual mode and downshift to your lowest gear if you’re driving a newer car with an automatic transmission that allows you to also drive it manually. To use your automatic automobile in manual mode, see your owner’s handbook.

5. Immediately exit and safely exit the highway

Once you’ve slowed down, pull over to the side of the road as quickly as possible to reduce the likelihood of being struck. If you’re driving on a highway or a major thoroughfare, your first priority should be to get your automobile into the correct lane safely. Use your turn signals and keep an eye out for oncoming traffic to avoid accidents. When you come to the slow lane, cautiously merge into it and switch on your warning lights. Remind yourself to keep clear of any potential risks and, if necessary, notify other drivers using your car’s lights and horns.

Go to the shoulder (or a safe place off the road like a parking lot) and put the car in neutral.

6. Don’t turn off the car until you’ve stopped

While you may think that turning off your car’s engine would help it slow down, you should leave it running until you’ve come to a full stop. Power steering is often disabled when the ignition is turned off, making manoeuvring the car more difficult. As a result, the steering wheel may get stuck. So, before you shut off your car, get it off the road and off the highway.

7. Call for help

Once your vehicle has been securely removed from the road, you may want help. Raise your hood and keep your hazard lights on to signal that you need assistance. As an added safety measure, you may place reflective triangles or road flares behind your vehicle. It is critical that you do not stand directly in front of (or behind) the vehicle you are driving.

Read also: Tips to get your car ready for a road trip


Routine maintenance may help you avoid brake failure and save money on repairs in the long run. Vehicles lose braking pressure, which is the most common cause of brake failure. When a calliper is overextended due to thin brake pads and rotors, braking pressure is lost most often. This is what happens if you don’t replace your brake pads over an extended period of time.

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