You'll agree with me that brakes are the most essential feature of a motor car, what's the use of moving without stopping? Now imagine moving at high speed and suddenly you apply your brakes but your vehicle refuses to stop, millions of thoughts are likely to cross your mind, panic, fear, and agitation won't do you any good. Brake failure is one of the main causes of a road accident and most cases result in death if care is not taken.
Signs of brake failure
1. Grinding sound when you press the pedal, mostly from beneath the front tyres, this shows that the brake discs are worn out.
2. Vibration sensation - this is mainly felt at your feet, it sometimes gets worse to the extent that your feet vibrate away from the brake pedal.
3. Burning smell - this is also a result of the damaged pedal disc cause friction between the disc and the pads
4. Overheating of the brake pads - it's normal to have hot brake pads after long journeys but for few miles it's abnormal, it could mean the brake pads are too tight to the disc and this could cause a quick worn out.
5. Leakage of brake fluid can be detected by looking below the car for hydraulic fluid drops.
Factors that lead to brake failure
1. Loss of brake fluid - when the hydraulic oil begins to leak or shorten, this can result in a reduction of brake efficiency.
2. Bad brake booster - as we all know that the brake booster amplifies the pedals, when it gets bad it's capable of reducing the effectiveness of the pedals, one will have to apply more strength to stop a vehicle
3. Worn out brake pads - worn out pads reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of the brakes, most of the brakes will take longer to halt the vehicle and this could be brutal in emergency situations.
What to do if your brake fails while driving.
1. Don't panic
I know this may sound odd. It's easier said than done but fear won't do you any good.
2. Do not accelerate further.
Slowly pull your legs away from the acceleration pad, besides it's no use running at high speed with a faulty brake, also it's advisable to downshift to a lower gear.
3. Turn on your warning car signals.
This will alert other road users to stay clear if possible honk as fast as you can.
4. Get off the speed lane.
While trying to get your car to a halt, it's advisable to get off the speed lane. It's better if there's grasses or bush at the roadside, this will help your car to halt quickly, as a smooth road reduce friction.
5. Do not use the hand brakes if you're not an expert.
Most times it's an alternative for people to use the handbrake but this can be dangerous sometimes, especially at high speed. This could result in skidding and loss of control.
6. As soon as your car comes to halt, make your brakes get fixed before driving, not all people get lucky twice.