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Old 4th August 2008, 12:43   #1
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Default Minor accident - Major scare - My Swift

Yesterday night while driving home at New Panvel in my Swift, with family after some shopping from Nerul, we went into a patch of heavy to very heavy showers after Kalamboli upto the Matheran Road intersection (where I was to take the left turn onto the ROB). Virtually was driving blindly against the glare of continuous traffic from opposite side on the divider less stretch. Wipers were working at full speed. Braking seemed perfect in start-stop situation.

Turned left onto the Road Over-bridge and on climbing encountered very less traffic. Was behind a Alto at some distance. As I climbed over the peak point and started descending, saw the Alto stopping near the divider with no apparent reason as stretch in front completely empty. Assuming him to start, I just slowed but didnt apply the brakes.
About 10 metres away finding the Alto motionless decided to apply brake. Then to my horror, found the vehicle still rolling onto the Alto. For the first time in 2 years I floored the brake to no avail. Though the Swift had slowed but it was still rolling. As this was my first such experience on the Swift, was shocked and took my time to apply the hand brake by which time the car was sniffing the tail of the Alto. On application of hand brake the car just nudged the Alto still. This maybe because of the gradient and some skidding.

Luckily for me the Alto driver did not come out for a fight but drove off immediately. I had braced up for a fight knowing the militant nature of the locals in that area.

Could this brake failure be due to the heavy rains loosening the grip ??

Last edited by emkay456 : 4th August 2008 at 12:47.
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:13   #2
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i doubt - the brakes were wet and that could be the reason for delayed braking.

do a panic braking on a normal sunny day on an empty stretch and if possible get them checked.
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:32   #3
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When you braked, it is possible that you braked hard and the wheels locked up. After the wheels locking up, the tyres might have skidded for a couple of metres on the wet road resulting in the incident...

Try the same on a dry road and I doubt you ll be able to replicate the skid.

I have faced this skidding situation on wet roads in my zen (which I used to own), and my accent. Fortunately it never resulted in any incident.

Gurus correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:41   #4
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If you had driven over a patch of deep water (enough to get into your wheels and wet the brakes) then they might have slipped. They will start function as normal when they dry. In such cases,when water enters, drive for some time with the brake slightly engaged - this is just to generate some heat to dry up quickly. But be careful not to fry them!
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:08   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
When you braked, it is possible that you braked hard and the wheels locked up. After the wheels locking up, the tyres might have skidded for a couple of metres on the wet road resulting in the incident...

Try the same on a dry road and I doubt you ll be able to replicate the skid.

I have faced this skidding situation on wet roads in my zen (which I used to own), and my accent. Fortunately it never resulted in any incident.

Gurus correct me if I am wrong.
It was not skidding at all, because the vehicle was rolling down the incline with the brake pedal on the floor. Immediately after the incident I had to continue for another 2 kms and did not find any issues with the braking. Probably the intensity of the rains had led to a wet slippery brake pads.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:16   #6
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Wet brakes. The car will brake but will take a little longer than it usually does. Good thing you had the presence of mind to use the hand brake.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:38   #7
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The water might have entered into the brake drum. Hence the vehicle just rolled over after you floored the brakes. BTW, did you have ABS in your swift?
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:48   #8
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If your brake pedal went to the floor this had nothing to do with the water. You have a bad master cylinder or a leak in a brake line or some air in your line. This will happen again on dry conditions. Get it checked immediately else you will have another situation where you have no brakes and you may not be so lucky.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:52   #9
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As you quoted that you were gliding, you just experienced Hydroplaning/ Aquaplaning.

Swift has front Disc brakes and they aren't affected by water much. As your brakes were working fine later, nothing wrong with your brake pads etc etc.
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Old 4th August 2008, 14:56   #10
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Get your brakes checked ASAP. Such things dont happen on Swifts - wet or dry.
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:13   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
The water might have entered into the brake drum. Hence the vehicle just rolled over after you floored the brakes. BTW, did you have ABS in your swift?
No mine is a non-ABS VXI.

As the motion felt was that of the tyres still rolling, I doubt whether it could be hydraplaning. As it was downslope no water retention on the road too.

Thanks for inputs. Now anyway for next few days I plan to be cautious to check out if it was a one - off situation with the brakes.
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:34   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay456 View Post
Probably the intensity of the rains had led to a wet slippery brake pads.
Did you by chance drive through some water logged road/standing water just before the incident?
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:40   #13
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Exclamation Faulty brake system

Quote:
Originally Posted by emkay456 View Post
.... For the first time in 2 years I floored the brake to no avail. ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
If your brake pedal went to the floor this had nothing to do with the water. You have a bad master cylinder or a leak in a brake line or some air in your line. This will happen again on dry conditions. Get it checked immediately else you will have another situation where you have no brakes and you may not be so lucky.




emkay456, if , as you mentioned, you had indeed floored the brake pedal, and nothing happened, then it is exactly as DirtyDan has mentioned. Please have it checked immediately, explaining things clearly to the service engineer. Please dont take chances with a faulty brake system.

.
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Old 4th August 2008, 15:44   #14
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Another thing to check would be the brake oil, if indeed the brake pedal went down totally you have either a leakage/ bad cylinder or low on oil. But this is only if the pedal went down completely without any response from the brakes.
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Old 4th August 2008, 16:10   #15
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If the brake pedal was completely on the floor and yet the car kept rolling its indeed a failure of the master cylinder in producing enough boost. Which in turn could mean a leakage in the brake lines or less oil in the oil reservoir (which again could mean leakage).

However, if you think the pedal was not on the floor but just that you felt that you could not press beyond what you did and yet the car was not stopping its a case of soggy brake shoes. Typically, when you experience such a thing (the brake pedal is completely jammed and yet the car is not stopping as quickly as you expect it to) ask everyone inside to hold tight and then start pumping the pedal vigorously. Do the press-release cycle as quickly as you can several times. The car will give violent jerks but at the same time it will decelerate in double quick time. This works not only with soggy brakes but also with weak liners, less pressure in the circuit etc.

You should anyhow do this routine a couple of times, everytime you pass over a pool of water.
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