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Prevent brake fail get a free check at HAC Rockhampton
 

Prevent Brake Fail Get a Free Brake Check HAC Rockhampton


Prevent car brake failure, if the brake fluid starts to leak from the system the brake pedal will feel 'softer' and will often travel further when pressed.

Early warnings of brake failure


Get into the habit of checking your brakes every time you get behind the wheel. Brake testing only takes a few seconds to do and will become habit after a while. There are two checks that you can make - Static and Rolling.

 

Static brake test


The static brake test is just a matter of pressing the brake pedal when you get into the car. There should be resistance from the pedal; if there isn't and the pedal feels soft or easily pushes to the floor you have probably got a fluid leak and should not drive the car.

Rolling brake test


Complete your 'rolling brake test' by pressing the brake pedal gently as soon as possible after moving off and while driving slowly. This will reassure you that your brakes are OK before you need them. Note: this is not an emergency stop! Simply 'feel' the brakes at five or ten kph.

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Brake Fluid Should Be Tested





Symptoms of impending brake failure


Brakes operate on a hydraulic system; for the system to work effectively there must be fluid in the hydraulic pipes. If the fluid starts to leak from the system the brake pedal will feel 'softer' and will often travel further when pressed. If your brake pedal feels soft or 'spongy' stop immediately and get a breakdown mechanic to check the car.

When the brake pedal feels soft, you might be able to build up brake pressure by repeatedly pumping it, however, this is only an 'emergency' measure to stop the car once - it is not a 'get you home' solution. Driving with a 'soft' brake pedal is extremely dangerous because your brakes could fail at any moment, even if they don't fail they will be inefficient, possibly leading to an accident.

If your brake pedal feels hard and the brakes are not working or are inefficient, something might have broken in the braking system - BUT... It could just be that something is jammed under the brake pedal. This is why you should keep the floor area of your vehicle free of litter and other stuff that could slide under the pedals.

Total brake failure


If you need to stop 'now!' use a hand operated parking brake (handbrake) in an on-off pumping motion, keep the release button pressed as you do this.

If there's time, change to second gear and ease the clutch pedal up gently (the engine compression will make the clutch feel like a brake) then use the parking brake to stop. In an automatic, shift to 'low' - if there is a manual option on your auto, change down one gear at a time.

If you have a pedal operated parking brake you need to operate the brake release handle at the same time to avoid locking the rear wheels - parking brakes only operate on the rear wheels (with very rare exceptions).

Warning Using the parking brake or dropping a gear at high speed could be dangerous and lead to a loss of control - lose as much speed as you can naturally before doing either of these things.

If you use the parking brake pull it gradually - a sudden tug on the brake or push on the parking brake pedal could lock the wheels and lead to loss of control. Locking the wheels might slow the car quickly in a straight line but the resultant skid could make the vehicle uncontrollable, possibly skidding off the road. If you have an electronic parking brake only use it in a last resort emergency - these brakes tend to operate on an 'on/off' basis and will probably lock your wheels solid.
 
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Brake fade


Brake fade refers to a situation where the brakes lose efficiency (or possibly fail completely). It is extremely rare in modern, well maintained vehicles.

There are two causes of brake fade. The most common, and the one which was experienced by our motorists in the first part of the 20th century, is caused by overheated brake pads (the bits that press onto the wheel to slow it down). This is almost unheard of with modern brake technology - you would need to brake long and hard down a (very, very) long hill. When the brakes cool down they work OK again.

The second type is caused by water in the brake fluid. When the fluid gets hot the water can vaporise. Steam (unlike brake fluid) will compress - therefore instead of your braking effort being transmitted to the wheels, it is dissipated as the steam compresses. When the system cools down the brakes will seem OK again. If your car is regularly serviced, the brake fluid will be replaced periodically and this problem will never arise.

Brakes and Tyres are Your Stopping Power


Your Brakes are the most important component of your vehicle. At Highway Auto Rockhampton we offer a no obligation inspection to make sure that your brakes are working at their best.

According to a study by the NRMA, bad brakes are partially to blame for approximately 22% of crashes caused by vehicle-related conditions (second only to tyre problems, which account for 35% of such crashes).

Since crashes can severely shorten your vehicle’s lifespan (and compromise your safety), it’s vital to take care of any car issues that could heighten your risk for collisions! Get your tyres and brakes checked during a Complete Vehicle Inspection at the first sign of common tyre problems or brake issues to help you steer clear of performance problems that can affect your safety on the road.

Additionally, a complete vehicle inspection can give you a more in-depth look at your car’s inner workings, helping you make more informed service and repair decisions!


Our expert advice


Our team of super skilled technicians have many years of industry experience, always upskilling and offer a full range of automotive solutions combined with old-fashioned, friendly and reliable service.
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