How to Stop A Car Without Brakes

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To stop a car without brakes, down shift or over-rev the engine to slow the car down, or use the parking brake, which is not connected to the vehicle's hydraulic system. Stop a car when the brakes fail with instructions from an ASE-certified technician in this free video on driving.

Part of the Video Series: Driving Lessons & Tire Care
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Video Transcript

All right, in this clip we're going to discuss how to stop a car without using the vehicle's brakes at all, whatsoever. There's two basic methods you're going to want to know how to do this. First is down shifting or over-revving the engine. You're using the engine to slow the vehicle down, and by revving it up, essentially, the vehicle's going to want to slow down, it doesn't want to rev that high. And since it's attached to the drive train by the clutch, you're going to slow the vehicle down by over-revving it. So essentially what you do is, you get going, put the vehicle in first or second, lowest gear possible, and slowly let the clutch out. The over-revving nature will slow down the vehicle. The second thing you can do, since the hand brake, or the parking brake, isn't attached to the hydraulic system at all, whatsoever, it can be used even though the vehicle's hydraulic brakes aren't working at all, whatsoever. And I'm going to demonstrate to you how to put these two actions into effect. First you get going with a little bit of speed. And even though we're going to be going down hill with a pretty decent amount of speed, you can still slow the vehicle down without using the brakes at all, whatsoever. All you want to do is just drop the clutch, put the vehicle in first, and allow the engine to slow the vehicle down. And even though you may not come to a complete stop, you can still use the hand brake to stop the vehicle.


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