By in Technology

A Car With No Brakes? What to Do?

I don't know how many shows I've watched... And I've heard of a real-life tale... of how a person has a car whose brakes have failed, and they panic because they can't stop.

What do they do? The drive on and on until either they wreck, or somehow something or someone saves them!

Well, maybe I'm some kind of super genius. Or, maybe, I am not. But I offer some advice on what to do...

What to Do

What should you do if this happens to you? Well... plain and simply... why not turn the ignition key OFF? Do cars run when the ignition is not ON? I don't think so, Tim.

Turn your ignition key to the "off" position. Steer the car to avoid crashes and wait for friction to stop the car.

Image Credit » Pixabay

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lookatdesktop wrote on March 13, 2018, 12:08 AM

I have often wondered that myself. I hope you have not had that experience yourself. I really hope I don't ever have to experience it either. Turning the ignition key off sounds like a simple yet brilliant idea.

MegL wrote on March 13, 2018, 6:19 AM

Most of the problems I have heard of have been lorries or trucks on long hills where the brakes have failed or overheated. Turning off the ignition, I think, removes power steering and any chance of secondary braking systems helping. There are some youtube videos of truck drivers safely navigating a downward stretch and they are scary! Whether turning off the ignition helps for cars, I don't know but on a hill, friction might not help much.

VinceSummers wrote on March 13, 2018, 9:05 AM

Nice points. Cars. Believe it or not. And not necessarily hills.

melody23 wrote on March 13, 2018, 10:28 AM

Turning off the ignition would also turn off many of the safety features as Meg has said, this may include power steering and things like that so its probably not safe to do that. Also gravity will play a huge part in the car not stopping. If you drive a manual car (as most of us here in the UK do) what you should be doing is changing down gears one at a time to help bring the car's speed down then pull the handbrake when you get to a reasonably safe speed to do so. I had to do something like this fairly recently in snow and it was pretty scary but the car stopped and no one was hurt which is the main thing

VinceSummers wrote on March 13, 2018, 12:37 PM

I did some lookups. Apparently the ignition can be turned off, but the key should not be removed. Turning off the ignition is not a foolhardy suggestion.

Last Edited: March 13, 2018, 3:54 PM

lookatdesktop wrote on March 13, 2018, 5:16 PM

Putting the car in neutral was a good idea. And turning off the ignition was often mentioned in that article.

VinceSummers wrote on March 13, 2018, 5:25 PM

Yes. Unless gravity plays a roll if you are on a reasonable decline. But if you are not, it plays no role at all. Turning off the car without removing the key allows the car to continue with manual steering.

lookatdesktop wrote on March 13, 2018, 10:43 PM

Things we need to know when we face a similar situation. No one is really prepared for it. But it is always good to know things like this, if you are a person like us who has to use a car to get around and has no access to private limos. LOL

MegL wrote on March 14, 2018, 6:12 AM

Wow, what an amazing story. I will remember that. That storyline was used in a book I read many years ago.

VinceSummers wrote on March 14, 2018, 9:04 AM

My wife added this: Before I turned the ignition off, I'd put on my blinkers so people would be warned.

MegL wrote on March 15, 2018, 4:03 AM

Good idea. So many things to think about.

lookatdesktop wrote on March 15, 2018, 10:42 AM

So many things to think about in just a few seconds. Did you see the news about the helicopter crash in New York? The pilot was the only one who knew how to release his safety harness to get out of the freezing waters but the others were unable to escape before drowning. It was a preventable thing. If only they had been given proper safety training. The reason for the crash was a sudden dive but one of the flotation bags failed to work so the helicopter went sideways and the propeller hit the water casing it to sink and take in water. Here is a link for you to take a look at in regard to this recent event.

VinceSummers wrote on March 15, 2018, 11:51 AM

I will definitely look at this. Anthony, do you remember the "good old days" when TV had Public Service Announcements? Riding in a helicopter should be treated no differently from riding in an airplane. And that should be like they show it on TV and the Movies.