DetroitYES Mini-Film Festival presents two Detroit-themed films by German director Dieter Marcello.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    447

    Default Guy plows through traffic on Grosebeck

    http://www.freep.com/article/2011081...ted-police-say

    No brakes, no problem! Just use oncoming traffic to help slow down your truck. Granted, that's if your foot doesn't do the job.

    The comments are even more ridiculous. I've never had brakes go out on me but isn't there a better option than driving head first into a red light with rush hour traffic? But then looking at his history, he's not too smart in the first place. He's lucky a semi truck wasn't going across.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    738

    Default

    I had my brakes go out on me on Fenkell and Artesian (slightly before Artesian). There was a bus in front of me on the right and 2 cars in the lane in front of me. I stuck it in neutral and was able to turn left onto Artesian. Thank goodness everyone drives so slow on that stretch and I wasn't going very fast. I came to a stop, eventually. I was freaked out. I must have sat there for hours waiting on the tow truck. Cell phones were a relatively new gadget back then but I had one (my dad got it for me the first year I started teaching, about a month before my brakes went out). Thank goodness I had one! Too bad I didn't have any phone numbers to go with it (tow truck). I called my dad and he sent out the tow truck (luckily he grew up about a block away and he knew right where I was) and was able to go and get my son from school. I never quite trusted that car after that incident!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    890

    Default

    They do equip cars with an E-brake so if you drive 10-15 mph you can usually make stops on your way home to fix your brake lines. Atleast my 25 year old car came equipped with this innovative technology(you can see it in the Dream Cruise today!).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Being a gear head, racer and auto mechanic it is easy for me to figure out what to do in a situation like that and yes it is very hard to lose all brakes. He probably only had front brakes to start with the rear brakes probably leaked and were capped off and his front line finally blew or the master ran out of fluid rendering all brakes useless.
    He could have turned off the engine, cars stop pretty quick then and you do retain steering if you dont turn the key to LOCK.
    It sounded like he put it in park at the end when I heard that loud ratcheting noise.

    A 17 year old Chevy truck in the rust belt has more than likely has had its parking brake cables rusted solid for the better part of ten years rending it useless.
    Parking brake BTW not "emergency brake". A.K.A.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    947

    Default

    ^^
    Off topic, sort of, my brakes have an air sound when applied. Any clue what that means?

    Stromberg2

  6. #6

    Default

    Kinda sounds like a bad brake booster or master cylinder to me, Strom.

    You'll sometimes hear a hiss initially because you're opening a valve in the booster, but it must stop within a second or so if you don't apply more pressure to the pedal. If it doesn't stop I would say the diaphram is bad in the booster.
    Could just be the vacuum hose to the booster as well, but get'em checked.
    Last edited by Magnatomicflux; August-20-11 at 03:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,947

    Default

    I had the brakes go out when driving one of those carsharing vehicles. Yes, here's a carsharing nightmare!

    I had just picked up a friend from the airport and was heading back on the freeway going the speed limit (55 mph). Ahead of me the freeway slopes downward and I see brakelights of completely stopped cars in the distance.

    Gently press the brakes, the pedal goes to the floor.
    I try to restore pressure by pumping them...fails.
    I drop to a lower gear.
    I applied the parking brake.

    We were slowing down, but not fast enough because of the downward slope. I said to my friend "Ready for this, hold on." I veered the car into the concrete divider sideswiping it as much as possible. I finally stopped when I rammed into a pile of construction materials (though we weren't in a construction zone).

    I called the police and rental company. They came and picked it up.

    Because I did not hit any other cars, just damage to stuff on the freeway, I was not issued any tickets, or responsible for damages. The rental company received no fines either, at least that I'm aware of.

    Point is when brakes fail, don't hit other people, crash into things like sign posts, fencing whatever if you can't stop.
    Last edited by wolverine; August-20-11 at 03:08 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    3,123

    Default

    I never understand why people don't shut off the engine in a situation like this.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    851

    Default

    It's called inertia. Just because you turn off the engine it does not keep the wheels from spinning. Placing the shifter in park won't do much, if anything, because the transmission does not slow the car down unless you drop your automatic transmission into the 2 or 1 setting. But if you're forced to remember all this in two split seconds.............

    Downshifting also helps to slow your manual transmission down too. Screw damaging your clutch or transmission, just make the thing stop.

    And to follow up on wolverine, keep a back up plan, like downshifting (into 2 or 1) if your emergency brake fails. Since there are very few hills around here where it's necessary to apply the "parking" or emergency brake (where the usage alone keeps them operational), they do rust and get stuck, and may or may not work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stromberg2 View Post
    ^^
    Off topic, sort of, my brakes have an air sound when applied. Any clue what that means?

    Stromberg2
    Bad power brake booster, its actually engine vacuum leaking.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    447

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wolverine View Post
    Point is when brakes fail, don't hit other people, crash into things like sign posts, fencing whatever if you can't stop.
    That's what I was thinking. It's cheaper to take out a fence than bump into several cars. It's really an eye opener to see what to do and what not to do in these situations.

  12. #12
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    Mar 2009
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    Default

    Obviously, you also don't want to injure someone, or if you strike another vehicle, you could be sued. Inanimate objects like signs and fences can't sue, and they can easily be replaced by whoever the car is insured under.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2009
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    947

    Default

    Thanks, Mag and Racine!!

    Stromberg2

  14. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    947

    Default

    By the way, how do you tell which wheel it is or do you replace both wheels? I'm great at driving, not so much with repairs!

    Stromberg2

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stromberg2 View Post
    By the way, how do you tell which wheel it is or do you replace both wheels? I'm great at driving, not so much with repairs!

    Stromberg2
    I don't think that's where you'll find your problem, strom. If you ever look under your hood, you'll see....basically in line with the steering wheel, against the firewall, a large, circular or drum shaped vessel of sorts, with a small reservior sticking out the front where you put your brake fluid. That's the booster. It uses vacuum to help assist you with braking power (power brakes).
    What you have is a leak that is either a diaphram within the booster, in which case it needs to be replaced (the whole booster...I don't know if you can fix the diaphram alone. Probably cheaper to do the whole thing if you're no good with repairs). OR it could be a simple vacuum line. From that booster, you'll see a black tube coming from it to the intake manifold on top of, or near the top of your engine. The manifold is generally made of aluminum and coloured as such. See if the vacuum line has cracks or anything, listen with the engine running and see if you hear sucking. Keep your fingers and stuff out of the engine bay! (I'm sure you know this, but hey) If it is that one vacuum tube, you could for sure do this yourself, just get the part at AutoZone or something. If not....to the shop you go. Here's some visuals for you:

    the circular/drum shaped vessel of sorts
    Name:  brake_booster1.jpg
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    Arrow is pointing to the brake booster vacuum line to the intake manifold
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    How it works
    Name:  power-brake3.jpg
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    Anyways, if you're taking it to the shop anyways, I would have them check all the vacuum lines FIRST...as they would be the cheapest repair.


    Geez....I hope that information is right! LOL!

    Good luck!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    947

    Default

    Thanks alot!!

    Stromberg2

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