- December 18, 2019
- By admin
- In Brakes
Out of all four seasons we have, winter is the most loved one probably because you sweat less and get to wear chic outfits. Icefalls occur all over the world, making it challenging to drive due to slippery roads. One needs to be more vigilant while driving on icy roads to avoid getting in an accident.
With winter comes the endless series of events and festivals forcing you to get out of the house more frequently. Even those who celebrate at home have to drive to the stores to purchase new clothes and gifts for their friends and family. It is essential to pay a visit to the mechanic to get the braking system of your cars checked before going out on icy roads.
Who would want their car to skid off and bump into a tree or another car, especially if their whole family is with them? The outcome could be fatal if you are not responsible enough.
You should be aware of the fact that existing issues in the braking system of your car can get worse if a timely inspection is not carried out in winters. Traction seems to be reduced while driving on snowy roads, and your brakes might not perform as well as they once did.
Even if you consider yourself an expert of driving on ice, it is significant that you do not take risks with your or anyone else’s life.
INDICATIONS OF A FAILING BRAKE SYSTEM
You have often heard people saying things like ‘I know my car’ when their fuel is on empty or when a particular noise is coming out of their car. It is a good thing to understand how your car responds to different road conditions and when it needs maintenance.
To acknowledge that the braking system of your car needs repairing, you must listen carefully while driving and braking. Usually, your brakes will squeal and grind in case there is an issue with the system (ABS).
The grinding noise could either mean that your brake pads need to be replaced or that the brake discs and callipers are coming in contact, which is not a good thing. Other than these warning sounds, you may feel some sort of surge while braking, which is another red light that should not go unchecked.
If at some point you feel like you need to push with more energy as you apply the brakes or the brake pedal takes more time to come to its original position, immediately visit the nearest auto repair shop to avoid problems in the near future.
Another way of seeing if your brakes need repairing is to look through your tires at the brake pads that are around the brake rotor. If the brake pad is unusually thick, then get it changed without wasting any time.
However, newer cars have an indicator light to tell the driver when the brake pads need replacing. How quickly the pads will worn out depends on the miles you have covered and the driving.
WHAT TO DO IF THE BRAKES FAIL?
You indeed need to get your brakes checked and repaired before driving on icy roads if you wish to keep your car from skidding. However, your brakes can still fail due to the increased slipperiness of the streets. If that happens you should do the following;
- The most important thing is to stay focus and keep your calm as it will help you steer the car in a safer direction.
- If you apply the brakes and they do not seem to work then turn on your indicator lights and move your car in another lane without hitting other vehicles. Do not accelerate any further; turn on the emergency indicators to warn others and let your car gradually come to a stop.
- For a car with a manual transmission, try to lower the gears of your car to bring it to a stop safely.
- For a car with auto transmission, get your car out of drive mode (D) into the neutral mode (N) or low mode (L).
- The last option is to pull the handbrake not suddenly but gradually toa void losing the control of your vehicle. It is necessary to keep the steering of your car straight while pulling the handbrake.
The importance of a well-maintained braking system can be understood by the fact that failure to get it repaired can cause damages to your car, which could turn out to be expensive to fix.
Secondly, brakes can fail, but if you follow the guidelines given above, then you and your family will remain safe. Along with having an excellent braking system, you should try to keep a distance between the car in front of you as it will give you ample time to make a move. Moreover, drive slowly at turns or your car will skid off the road.
If you are still not convinced to get the brakes of your car checked by a professional mechanic at the nearest auto repair shop, then let’s enlighten you with some factual information.
Research suggests that 17% of all car crashes happen in winters due to snowy roads. A total of 1,836 in the United States of America die annually as their cars crash in icy pavements. If you are wondering the number of car crashes that occur on slippery roads in winter annually, then the number is 156,164. More than 116,800 people are seriously injured in winters as a result of car crashes on icy roads.
The risk is higher not only for the passengers but the pedestrians could be in danger as well. More than 76,000 people are injured in such accidents just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
All these statistics indicate the conditions that drivers in America face during winters. Similar conditions are in different parts of the world, and anyone can be a victim of these accidents. It is better to be safe than sorry and try to be over smart by believing in your driving skills. No one doubts your driving skills, so get your car to an auto repair shop and have the braking system checked and fixed.
It is good to ask questions that will keep you and your loved ones safe from car crashes in winters. A few general questions can be as following;
- Does cold weather in winters harm brakes: It does not directly lower the performance of the brakes; however, it can contribute along with some other factors.
- What happens when brakes freeze: It is a phenomenon that takes place in case there is moisture in your brake oil. As a result, the pressure you apply while braking will remain as it is even if the pedal has been released. This is likely going to cause your brakes to drag.
- Can brake oil freeze as well: It is not scientifically possible for oil to freeze; however, it can get thick in cold weathers and not work as effectively. Since it has now turn into a gel form, it would not be able to transfer the force from the master cylinder to the wheels.
- When to get a refill of the brake oil: Whenever your car starts to pull toward a single side, or you begin losing control while braking, moreover, if the pedal makes any kind of noise while you apply pressure and release it, then it is better to get a refill.
- Role of Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS): People frequently ask if they can switch off their ABS of the car. It is essential to understand that on icy roads where traction is negligible, ABS plays a significant role as it makes the car stop in less time keeping you safe.
- Is pumping brakes a good idea: It is an excellent idea if your vehicle does not have an ABS. Keep pumping the brakes gently as sudden pressure can lock the wheels while your car skids off the track.
These are a few usual questions asked by drivers to stay safe in winters. In case you have any other queries then research them through the internet.
Here is the thing, getting your brakes repaired before taking your car out on icy roads will only cost you money but being irresponsible and overconfident can cost you other valuable items. Ask yourself this, ‘Is my money more valuable than my life and the lives of my loved ones?’.
The statistics mentioned above are meant to get the importance of a well-maintained braking system through your mind. Moreover, your car’s brakes may need to be checked, and for that, the warning signs are stated so you remain safe and can enjoy the weather along with all the joy it brings. Anything can happen even if we prepare for the worst, so do read the tips to follow in case your brakes fail.