Brake failures can be fatal once on the road. Any kind of disc staining may be a sign of overheating and an inspection by a brake repair mechanic is a must. Similarly if you suspect an uneven wear, breakage or cracking on the friction surface, understand they need to be replaced.
Make a note of these tips in ensuring you don’t experience any brake failure.
• Place the hydraulic reservoir at an optimum level (refer to your car owner’s manual) with the fluid type recommended by the car manufacturer. The hydraulic fluid absorbs water and hence you need to replace it with a fresh container. • Make a practice to clean your brakes at the same time you wash your car. This keeps dust and dirt off the pads and makes brakes easier to inspect and work on. • Don’t try to spray, touch or drip any oil or lubricants on the brake friction surface. If you do this accidentally, immediately spray your brake cleaner to remove it completely. • Brakes either function properly or they don’t as there are no shortcuts or quick remedies. As an owner of a car, get acquainted with your brake system – before it acts up you should know when something is wrong. • Most imports don't have serviceable discs. They must be replaced at the same time as the pads. The rotors cannot be ‘turned’ to remove imperfections. There isn't sufficient metal thickness to safely accomplish this. • Whenever the pads are replaced, the hydraulic system must be bled to remove any air bubbles. This job is a bit dicey and hence you should seek professional assistance. • Whenever you hear a noise, it is usually related to your pads. In the event of replacing your pads, you should also substitute the discs with new ones and thus you can enhance the over-all life of your brakes. • It is mandatory to set your new pads properly after you install them. The instructions to set your new pads are usually mentioned in the package with your new pads.
You’re cruising down a highway, stepping on the accelerator, as there are no vehicles in front of you. But keep reminding yourself about stray animals --- cows, buffaloes, dogs --- which were never told that roads were meant for driving. If you see an animal from a distance, slow down and approach with caution and mistrust. For, just as you feel that you’re going to pass the beast, it may think of quickening its pace or doing an about turn. It’s not only the animal’s life you should be worried about. In any trial of strength with a cow or a buffalo, the beast will always win (unless you drive a truck). Whenever you see an animal from afar, think of it as a ton of meat with a brain the size of the walnut on the move.
• One must exercise extra caution while reversing since everything at the rear of the vehicle is not visible from the driver’s seat. • Look at the reversing path before you start. • Reverse slowly, making ample use of mirrors. • Never reverse from a minor road to a major road. • Use reversing light and warning signal. • Always use a helper whilst reversing a large vehicle • Do not reverse further than absolutely necessary!
A vehicle may halt because of a stuck throttle. Stuck throttle is by and large a cable or mechanical fault and can be set right by: • Pressing the clutch to disengage the engine • Gently applying both brakes simultaneously • Turning off the ignition switch • These means usually help in revving back the engine to life!
One may have to drive off the road during some emergencies. However this is not a cause for panic, running off the road is better than heading for a head-on collision with an approaching vehicle. If you have to swerve to a side to avoid a collision do bear the following in mind: • Do not slam the brakes. Avoid braking till speed has dropped to 30kmph. • Hold the steering wheel firmly to maintain course. • Try to keep one set of wheels on pavement (if possible). • Do not try to steer back onto the road immediately. • Slow down gradually. • Wait until the road is clear and then turn onto the paved surface of the road slowly and smoothly, after giving signal and checking the rear view mirrors.