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The Steps To Follow In the Event Of A Brake Failure

Think that you are behind the wheel and driving your way to home. You approach a curve and step on the brakes, but nothing happens! Encountering a brake failure while driving is a dreadful experience. Although a complete failure of the brakes is a rare occurrence, the results can be life-threatening.

What To Do In the Event Of A Brake Failure?

Having yourself a good transportation is the best way to avoid this incident: a car from Japanese second-hand car list, for example. However, Every driver should know what to do in such an emergency situation to avoid accidents or damage of the vehicle. Read these following instructions to know how to handle a car with no brakes.

1. Try Again

Car with No Brakes
Try again to see any of the brake systems are working. (photo source: Shutterstock)

Of course, the first rule is not to panic because a clear head will help you think of a solution and get the vehicle to safety. Next, you should try to push the brakes again because unless you are driving a vintage beauty, most cars have a dual braking system where the front and rear brakes work independently. Apply consistent pressure to see if either of the two systems is working.

2. Downshift Straightaway

Trying to slow down the car is another safe thing to do when there’s a brake failure. You have to put it in a low gear smoothly and slowly because doing it quickly will make the vehicle skid. Downshifting will give you enough time to pull over to somewhere safe.

If your vehicle uses a manual gearbox, work your way down through the gears. Otherwise, take the foot off the accelerator in case of an auto transmission.

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3. Steer The Car To A Safe Place

After slowing down the vehicle, try to steer it towards an exit. If you need to change lanes, watch out the traffic and other cars behind you. Get it off the road and alert others by using the lights and horn. If it’s necessary to hit something to make it stop, aim for some comparatively ‘safer.’ For example, hitting a tree is better than hitting another car or a person while a wooden fence is definitely a better option than a tree.

4. Use The Emergency Brake

If the emergency brake is strong, use it to stop the vehicle when you are off the road. Pull a lever behind the shifter to activate it in a manual transmission car while a small pedal on the left of the driver’s seat will do the job in auto cars.

5. Keep The Engine Running Until The Car Stops

Most people shut off the car right away in the event of a brake failure, thinking it will help in avoiding accidents. But, your first task is to pull it to a safe place, and you can’t do it by shutting down the power steering. So, turn the ignition off only when the car is off the road.


The best way to prevent a brake failure is regular checkup and maintenance. You should listen to the noises that your brake is making and pay attention to the behavior of the brake pedal. If something feels unusual, have it diagnosed by an expert mechanic.

  1. Laban lumumba says

    Your articles are very useful. I have understood and solved issues with my SUV that would otherwise been a problem.

    1. Trang Tran says

      We are happy to receive your comments. Please share with your friends so they can enjoy this article, too.

  2. Tugume says

    Thanks for ur education pliz

  3. Matete Waliaula says

    Very educative information. I recommend all drivers to read this.

  4. Gerald says

    Am happy with your articles they are a must read and apply for every driver. I have a problem everytime I drive for 50 kms I my engine sounds differently and I check on the plug and always number 2 is a bit oily and cracked on the top side and if I change it runs very well only to come back again to the same problem, what could be the reason behind and how can I get it rectified, mark you the engine rings were replaced less than 3000 kms mileage ago.

  5. Roy Gunda says

    Thanks for helping us know more

  6. Phiri Okenson says

    Very helpful information and educative for drivers. Keep helping us through these tips. Thumbs up.

  7. Sarah Baker says

    I’ve encountered a brake failure when I was driving on the highway. I was badly injured. Now with those tips I will now know who to stop a car in case of brake failure. Thank you.

    1. Sarah Baker says


  8. martin says

    In another article you said neutral can help in cases of emergency but you have said here to put it in low gear.Which is better?

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