Give Me a Brake

November 9th, 2012 by

I was driving down a city street, about 30-35 mph, early in the evening. As I approached an intersection, where the signal light was red, I went to apply the brakes. The pedal went right down to the floor. No brakes.

Now that may not be the worst feeling in the world, but it is awfully close. My car had an automatic transmission and I quickly dropped it into low, and started to carefully apply the emergency brake. I was about a block away from the intersection at this point and, unfortunately, there was a car stopped at the light ahead.

I sure didn’t want to plow into the back of that car. The emergency brake was slowing me down but not fast enough. The curbing was rather high and no cars were parked along the street, so I steered over to let my tires rub against the curb to help slow me down.

It worked. I managed to reduce my speed sufficiently to fully engage the emergency brake just a couple of inches from the rear bumper of the unsuspecting car still idling at the red light ahead of me. Whew.

Now what I’ve described actually happened, and it is definitely not the prescribed method for dealing with brake failure. I improvised, and got very lucky.

I found out later that one of my brake lines had ruptured somehow, and that’s what caused the entire heart-pounding episode. The brake line may have been hit with some debris off the road, I’m not sure, and neither was the mechanic, but ever since then I have made it a point to have my brake system thoroughly inspected whenever I have an oil change.

A regular schedule of maintenance and routine inspection performed by a professional auto technician will keep your vehicle safe and in top condition. It sounds simple, and it is. Go to a dependable, certified auto repair center, like the one here at Cox Mazda in Bradenton, Florida, and have them assist you in setting up a maintenance schedule for your car, pickup truck, or SUV today. They provide comprehensive auto care, at competitive prices, and you can have complete confidence in the expertise of their auto care pros.