January 30, 2024
The brakes are one of the most important safety features on any vehicle. They slow us down, stop the vehicle and keep it from moving involuntarily. But they also wear in time.
It is a good idea to check your brakes periodically, at low speed on a road which is wide and with no traffic or pedestrians, and dry and free of obstacles, where you can try the brakes by applying various different pressures, including an emergency stop, such as was done in your driving test. Listen and watch for anything unusual, such as some of the things we will explain, but if something doesn´t seem right, trust your instinct and get them checked immediately.
It is also extremely important to check your brakes before driving anywhere after a heavy rainfall. Water is an enemy of the braking systems as it can get into the hydraulic systems and can reduce the friction needed for the brakes to be efficient. It can also cause decay to some of the parts of the system.
Similarly, if you are driving and you drive through a body of water, such as a ford or some of the deep puddles, check your brakes straight away, but this time applying them gently to avoid and sudden movements that can cause skidding or locking of the wheels.
Modern vehicles are fitted with all kinds of intelligent systems, including things like ABS, or Anti-Locking Braking systems, for example, but we mustn´t rely too much on the technology and must maintain some responsibility of awareness ourselves, after all, we are the drivers.
If you have any doubts about the braking system, you should get it checked immediately by a qualified mechanic. Checks, such as those mentioned, are also important because the effectiveness of the system erodes over time, so you might not even notice any changes, hence also the importance of getting your brakes checked periodically even if you don’t suspect a problem.
The braking system also forms part of the mandatory ITV test, and so by keeping a check on your brakes and keeping them in optimum operating order not only keeps you safer, it also increases the likelihood of your vehicle passing the test.
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