Break Brakes? (Sudden Failure, Common Causes)

Car maintenance is very important and one part you need to ensure is properly maintained is the brakes. Brakes ensure you can stop and control your vehicle’s speed, ensuring your safety, your passenger’s safety, and the safety of other road users. While driving, you might see the brake lights on the dashboard or hear strange noises when you brake; you might be wondering if you broke your brakes.

So, can you break your brakes? You can break your brakes if you exercise poor driving habits or neglect your car. You must regularly check your brakes for wear and tear to ensure they function well when driving. Other things that might cause your brakes to break include excess use, damaged rotor discs, loss of brake fluid, and overloading your vehicle. If you notice your brakes are broken, you should have them replaced as soon as possible and avoid driving the car until you have replaced the broken brakes.

Brakes are an important part of your vehicle because they enable you to stop or control your car’s speed. Brake failure is one of the main causes of car accidents, and a good driver should know when to spot damage on their brakes.

The brakes on your car ensure that you, your passengers, and other road users stay safe while driving. As part of proper car maintenance, you must develop nice driving habits to ensure your brakes stay in good condition for a long time. While driving your car, you have to use the brakes, and you might wonder if it is possible to break your brakes.

You can break your brakes, especially if you have bad driving habits or neglect to maintain your car regularly. Other things that can cause your brakes to break include loss of brake fluid, damaged rotor discs, excessive use, and overloading your car.

You must check your car regularly to ensure you are not driving with damaged brakes. When driving, if the brake lights turn on or you start hearing noise when you brake, your brakes could have sustained significant damage.

You must replace the broken brakes as soon as possible to avoid brake failure while driving. After replacing the brakes, ensure you improve your driving habits and do not miss the next scheduled car service.

The main reason brakes break is poor driving habits. Most drivers, especially new drivers, do not know how to take care of the car and end up damaging the brakes after driving the car for a few days.

Late braking is the most common poor driving habit that can cause brake damage. Most drivers fail to brake at the appropriate time leading to late braking, which is always aggressive. Frequent late braking can cause the brake pads to wear out faster, which can cause them to break. To avoid late-breaking, anticipate what other cars are doing on the road and also start braking at a further distance to ensure you stop the car at the desired spot.

Another poor driving habit that can cause your brakes to break is resting your foot on the brake pedal. When driving, sometimes you might rest your foot on the brake pedal, which might seem like a good driving technique. However, the brakes can be activated even with slight pressure on the brake pedal, causing wear and tear on the brake pads.

The brakes can break when they are worn out, which could cause an accident. When driving, you should avoid resting your foot on the brake pedal. Whether driving a manual or automatic car, you should only place your foot on the brake pedal when you want to stop the car.

Brake fluid is an important part of the braking system if your car uses the hydraulic braking system. Brake fluid is responsible for transferring pressure from the brake pedal to the brake pads stopping or reducing the speed of your car. If your car has a brake fluid leak, the brakes might break.

If you properly maintain your car, it will be easy to find and fix brake fluid leaks. You need to check the brake light on your dashboard; when it turns on, take your car to an auto shop to see if there is something wrong with the braking system. Most of the time, the light will turn on due to minor issues, but it is better to have your car checked rather than ignore it.

To avoid breaking your car’s brakes, you need to replace the brake pads when the lining is between 3 mm and 4 mm wide. A new brake pad is usually 12 mm wide, and over time, it will wear down every time you use your car.

When the brake pad reaches 3 mm, the metal burr holding the brake pad will make contact with the disc, and you can hear a strange sound every time you press the brake pedal. If you continue using the thin brake pads, you might damage your wheels or part of the braking system. You should check your brake pads every time you do an oil change.

Brake Failure

The brake system is an important feature in any vehicle because it enables you to stop the car or reduce the speed when needed. Most of the time, brakes usually work perfectly, but in some instances, your car’s braking system might fail. You might be prepared for any eventuality while driving, but what if the brakes fail suddenly?

Brakes can suddenly fail, but it is usually very rare. The brakes might work perfectly when driving, but sometimes the brake system stops functioning without any warning. If you are driving at high speeds, brake failure can lead to accidents that might cause serious or even fatal injuries.

If your car is well-maintained, you need not worry about sudden brake failure. Signs that you might encounter sudden brake failure include noisy brakes, brake warning lights, longer stopping time, and brake fluid leaking. If your brakes suddenly fail, you can avoid causing an accident by staying calm, controlling the vehicle, trying to stop the car, and avoiding crashing into items purposefully to stop the car.

Brake failure is usually gradual and inconsistent and usually does not cause serious accidents. Total brake failure is when the brake system does not work at all. When you press down on the brake pedal, you might not get the pedal down, or the car will not stop no matter how hard you press the brake pedal.

Sudden and total brake failure is rare; hence, you need not worry too much as long as you maintain your car properly. Before your brakes suddenly fail, if you are keen, you might have noticed certain signs. You can prevent your brakes from failing suddenly by checking and repairing them as soon as you notice the signs.

The brake warning light on your car’s dashboard should be the first sign you see if the brake system has an issue. The light usually shows when the parking brake is on; if you have not engaged the parking brake, you should have your car checked.

A longer stopping time also shows your brakes could be failing. The longer you use your car with those brakes, the higher your chances of experiencing sudden brake failure. Another crucial sign you might experience sudden brake failure is leaking brake fluid.

If the brake system leaks, a yellow or light brown fluid will leak out, and if the fluid is not enough, the brake will fail. Other signs your car’s brake might suddenly fail to include noisy brakes, a burning smell, and a stiff or soft brake pedal.

If your brakes suddenly fail, you need to stay calm. If you panic, you might lose control of your car and cause an accident. After noticing your brakes are not working, lift your foot from the accelerator. Turn on the hazard lights to warn drivers and other road users.

If your car has ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and the brake pedal is not hard, press it down completely; if it vibrates, the braking system is trying to work. If your car does not have ABS, pump the brake hard and fast. When the car starts to slow down, carefully apply the emergency brake.

Using the emergency suddenly can cause the wheels to lock up, which can cause you to lose control of the car. You can turn off the engine to slow down the car if you are driving in a secluded area and do not have to steer the car.

If you manage to stop the car, do not drive the car again; call roadside assistance immediately. You should never crash your car head-on in an attempt to stop the car. You will suffer serious or even fatal injuries if you do that.

Common brake failure causes

Your car has many features installed to ensure your safety, but brakes are the first you usually use to stop the car and avoid accidents. Just like other parts in the car, the brake system can fail due to several reasons. Here are the common causes of brake failure.

Common causes of brake failure include poor maintenance, damaged rotor discs, leaking brake fluid, driving through mud and water, overloading your car, and overheating the brake pads. Brake failure is a serious issue that causes thousands of accidents. If you are driving at high speed and experience brake failure and the car cannot stop, you might end up causing an accident and sustain life-threatening injuries.

To avoid experiencing brake failure, you need to know what causes it and ways you can avoid causing an accident. Let’s discuss these causes of brake failure and how to fix them.

The most common cause of brake failure is poor maintenance. Most drivers do not check the condition of their brakes and will drive for long distances ignoring signs that they need to change their brake pads or brake fluid.

Brake pads wear down gradually; hence, they need to be replaced as soon as they reach 3 or 4 mm wide. When the brake warning light turns on, you should not drive your car for a long distance without having a professional check and fix the issue causing the light to go on. You should not skip your car’s service; if you have reached the recommended mileage, take your car to the auto shop for a full service which includes replacing the brake pads. 

Damaged parts of the brake system can lead to brake failure. Damaged rotor discs and leaking brake fluid can cause your brakes not to work. If your rotor discs are damaged, it will be difficult to stop; hence, have a mechanic smooth or turn the rotor discs when replacing the brake pads.

If the brake fluid leaks, the brake system will fail to work if there is no fluid to transfer pressure from the brake pedal to the brake pads. Find the leak and block it and replace the lost brake fluid. If you cannot stop the leakage, take your car to a professional to inspect the brake line and repair it.

Driving through mud or water can cause your brakes to fail. Brakes must be dry to create friction between the pads and the discs to stop the car. Mud and water can lubricate the brake pads, leading to poor friction and making it difficult to stop the car within a short time.

You should avoid driving in wet conditions for a long time. You should also avoid overloading your vehicle because it can cause brake failure. Overloading your vehicle can cause your car to become unstable, which can damage the brake system. Your car usually comes with a maximum weight recommendation. When carrying loads on your car, you should ensure that it does not exceed the weight recommendation. 

Wrap Up

The brake system is one of the most important features in your car, ensuring that you reach your destination safely. You need to avoid exercising bad driving habits that can break your brakes. Avoid late braking, resting your left foot on the brake pedal, riding brakes down a slope, and overloading your car. If you take good care of your car, you might never experience brake failure.

If you experience sudden brake failure, you should never panic or try to crash your car in the hopes of stopping it. You should note that brake failure occurs gradually, and if you are keen, you can see the signs before it worsens.

These signs include taking longer to stop, noisy brakes, the car pulling to one side, a burning smell, and a brake warning light on the dashboard. If you experience brake failure and you manage to slow the car and bring it to a complete stop, do not drive it again until a professional has checked the car and repaired it.

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