in the hypothetical situation, where my brakes stop working. what should i do

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benwhite13
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
just incase it happens.

so I'm going 60mph and there are cars left right and centre.

should I
a) jank the handbrake
B) drop it into 1st
c) smash it into reverse
d) turn off the engine
e) something else
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Nuffles
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Report 1 year ago
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None of the above.

Assuming you don't want to break your car then apply handbrake smoothly and work your way down the gears. Steer for the best outcome.

Janking the handbrake will lock the rear wheels and may well cause you to lose control. If you can even get it into first (doubtful) then you'll snap driveshafts at a minimum, if not gearbox or crank damage. Similar damage for reverse. Turning off the engine won't give you any noticeably more engine braking than taking your foot off the throttle assuming you have any reasonably modern vehicle plus you will lose power steering and lights on the exterior of the vehicle (and any kind of vacuum assist still in the brake servo if you have some brakes still left).

Total brake failure is incredibly uncommon, especially somewhere like the UK where our vehicles are checked for safety every year. You will almost certainly have warning signs before total failure (spongy pedal, lights on dash, screeching brakes, etc. Look after your car and it will look after you.
Last edited by Nuffles; 1 year ago
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Aaron702
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#3
Report 1 year ago
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Slowly work down the gears and let engine braking take over. Once you get to around 20-30mph you can (assuming you have a manual handbrake not an electric one) very lightly pull on the lever to apply the brakes. Pull it more until you stop.

What a lot of people don't realise is that the handbrake isn't an on/off switch, the more you pull the lever the harder the brakes apply.
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username4003948
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#4
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(Original post by benwhite13)
just incase it happens.

so I'm going 60mph and there are cars left right and centre.

should I
a) jank the handbrake
B) drop it into 1st
c) smash it into reverse
d) turn off the engine
e) something else
1) Put hazard warning lights on;
2) Use the brake pedal so that the rear brake lights are illuminated as a signal to vehicles behind, even if the brakes themselves aren't doing much;
3) Ease off acceleration slowly and smoothly;
4) Cycle down through your gears - engine braking will slow you down;
5) Try to get to the outside edge of the road (i.e. the hard shoulder if you're on dual carriageway/motorway, the verges on country roads or curb side if this is some kind of 60mph road - with multiple lanes flowing in the same direction - other than a dual carriageway/motorway/country lane);
6) Keep hazards on, phone the breakdown people you hopefully would've upgraded your insurance to include;
7) Stay near the car but not in the road.
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