What should I do when my car brakes lock up?


A car locking up in the middle of the road can be scary, however, we’ve pieced together some steps to follow when it happens. Check it now!

To start with, this is a risky situation and a scary one too when you're driving on the road. When the car is running without any control is a scenario no driver would want to picture or even experience.

This post on Naijacarnews will be letting you on into why brakes lock up and what to do when your car's brakes lock up.

Why do car brakes lock up?

Whether you were driving your car when it happened or not driving it, there are a handful of reasons responsible for a car brake locking up.

1. Reasons a car brake locks up

If you're driving and your car brakes lock up, it could be that you were driving on a slippery surface and lost control and you ended up slamming on your brakes in a bid to stop the car. When you do this, you will only lock up your braking system which in turn will leave you trapped on the road. And if the entire wheels lock up, the reason could be a misaligned or faulty master cylinder.

Here are some reasons for the car brake lock up!

  • Making use of incorrect brake fluid
  • Overheating braking system
  • Broken or damaged calipers, rotors or brake backing plates
  • Uneven power brake booster rod
  • Worn out Pistons, caliper or brake wheel cylinders
  • Faulty ABS parts, proportioning value


Driving on slippery surfaces while slamming the brakes will make the brake to lock up

It's necessary you also know that a blocked handbrake can cause the wheels that are on the same axle to lock up. In most cases, it occurs in the rear wheels owing to the fact that the rear axle is where the handbrakes work.

Now, let's take a look at how to deal with a car brake locking up.

2. What to do when your car brakes lock up

The steps you should take when it happens will be determined by how many wheels that got locked up. In this case, lift your car up with a jack and use your hands to rotate the wheels.

If one wheel happens to be the only rigid wheel, look for a broken spring or a clogged fluid pipe. A blocked pipe passes the brake fluid to the cylinders in the wheel but blocks it from returning when the brake pedal is released. Because of this, the brakes remain on and still appears locked.

If your car doesn't have an ABS brakes installed, release the brake pressure whenever you detect the brakes are locking. Continue to push and release the brake pedal repeatedly until the car comes to a stop.


A car that has Anti-lock braking system doesn't lock up

A car that is fitted with ABS brakes won't lock up except there's a broken component in the system that's no longer effective. These components can be calipers, wheel bearings, rotors, damaged disc brakes, and others. A car that’s equipped with an ABS system will prevent the brakes from locking up When appears you are starting to lose your grip on slippery surfaces. What it will do is to pump the brakes and on your own end, you'll experience a beating feeling in the brake pedal when you slam on the brakes. Disregard the feeling and focus on bringing the car to a stop.

>>> Check out our safe driving tips for more useful posts!