Torque Tips | Dangers of driving with your handbrake up

Dangers of driving with your handbrake up

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-a small habit can have a big implication-

Picture this: you’re cruising down the highway, blasting music, hair flailing through the open window and you’re ‘living’ in the moment’ when it catches your eye – that little red light that’s shining on your dashboard. Panicked, you quickly leap over to the yellow lane but it’s too late, the damage has been done and you can smell it in the air: the burning of your linings, dread fills your stomach. Now what? Your first instinct might be to come to a standstill and jump on the phone to call your father, hysterically begging for his valuable wisdom and precious assistance in this urgent matter. Fear not, you are a smart, independent woman who can figure it out herself, everyone needs a little guidance and we are here to offer it to our readers today by sharing this helpful tip to our audience.

When you notice you are driving with your emergency (more commonly known as your handbrake brake) on, the only thing you can do is to free it and keep driving. This might sound unconventional and downright crazy but the damage has already been done and so when you continue to have the wheels rolling, cold air will seep through and subside your brake pads’ heat. Stopping and waiting for it to cool down will be futile, plus you are a busy lady and have places to be.

When you do eventually stomp on that pesky pedal and it feels spongy or squashy, have a reliable mechanic check your brake fluid and lines. They will probably need to replace the fluid and tightened the brake line if it has been damaged. This can be because you drrove at a high speed, for a long period of time or fastened the handbrake firmly before driving.

Your brake pads will need to be exchanged if you feel a pulsation or vibration when braking. This is due to the fact that all the friction bound material has worn of unevenly and has created hotspots on the pad. A more affordable option is to have your car’s brake pads skimmed. This is when they remove the top layer to equalize the friction material. It is also beneficial for brake efficiency, removes the lip created by wear because of repeated braking and gives the mechanic an opportunity to check if everything else is still in optimal condition.

Another risk factor is failing brakes. Heat is caused by friction of the continued application of the pads against the rotors, that can be shifted over to the brake fluid and lead it to boil. Seething brake fluid loses its ability to transfer pressure to the brakes and so your brakes can be ineffective to stop your vehicle and keep you stationed. Now do you realize the importance of being alert behind the wheel? And why you should notice if you drive with your handbrake up?

At the end of the day your safety is our priority and so we urge you to please be attentive when driving (and standing still for that matter) and if you have any uncertainties, to contact a trustworthy mechanic for guidance and recommendations. We sincerely hope that our tips help you gain more independence about your driving and your vehicles mechanics one tip at a time.

Written by: Ashley Roos

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