Slamming on the Brakes Could…
1. Cause an Accident
Slamming on the brakes might cause you to lose control of your car, particularly on wet or poor surface roads, and wind up in an accident.
Even if you don’t collide with another car, slamming on the brakes may throw you or your passengers forward. This sudden motion could make everyone’s heads jerk, causing neck or even brain injuries. That’s scary enough to make anyone think twice about slamming on the brakes.
2. Reduce Fuel Mileage
“Aggressive” driving, such as slamming on the brakes and going over the speed limit, can reduce highway fuel mileage by as much as 30% and city fuel mileage by as much as 40%, according to a 2017 study by the RACQ.
3. Trigger ABS When It’s Not Needed
Your car’s anti-lock braking system, or ABS, prevents your wheels from locking up and sending your car into a skid. It’s a critical safety feature of modern vehicles.
But slamming on the brakes may cause your ABS to kick in when it isn’t needed. Doing so could wear out the anti-lock brake system prematurely and leave you with less than show-stopping brake performance.
An illuminated ABS light or unresponsive brake pedal are two signs your ABS could be out of whack after a brake slam.
4. Wear a Flat Spot on Your Tyres
Let’s say you drive an older model car that doesn’t have ABS (i.e., no mechanism to stop your brakes from locking up). If you’ve slammed on your brakes recently, you might want to get your tyres checked. Hard, sudden braking can cause flat-spotting.
Flat-spotting happens when your wheels lock-up and your car skids, causing one section of each tyre to stay in contact with the pavement while the vehicle slides forward.
When this happens, the area of the tyre that’s in contact with the road endures more-than-normal friction and heat, causing uneven wear and a flat spot on the tread. It’s like rug burn, but for tyres.
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Overheat The Brake Pads
Brake pads come into contact with your rotors and create friction to slow and stop your car. Going from 100 to 0 in a couple of seconds places extra stress on your car’s suspension while also exposing your braking system to excess heat.
When your brakes overheat, the brake pads can wear down quicker and the rotors may warp—two things that could compromise your car’s stopping power and safety. Worn brake pads can cause problems in other parts of the system, too.
How do you know whether your brake pads are worn after a pedal stomping? Signs can include squeaks when braking, a shaky steering wheel, or an illuminated brake light on the dash.
Damage Brake Hoses
When you push on the brake pedal, brake fluid travels through the brake hoses and converts your “push” into energy that brings the car to a stop.
The heat and pressure generated when slamming on the brakes can cause tears and cracks in the hoses. Such damage can result in fluid leaks that eat away at your brake pads. Left unchecked, brake fluid levels can become low and render your brakes completely unresponsive and severely compromising your safety on the road.
If your dashboard brake light comes on or the brake pedal goes all the way to the floor when you press it, your brake hoses may need immediate attention.
At Highway Auto Brakes, we’ll take a look at your braking system to make sure everything is as it should be. And if it’s not, we’ll make recommendations to get your brakes up to speed! Schedule an appointment or head to your Highway Auto Brakes Rockhampton workshop for a brake inspection service today.