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Layed on brakes hard on interstate. Should I get them checked?

I have a 2001 Hyundai Elantra GLS. I was driving on the highway and I had to brake hard unexpectedly. My tires screech for approximately 3 or 4 seconds. I do not know how fast I was traveling before I really had to squeeze on the brakes, but I do remember lightly apply my brakes beforehand. Should I get them inspected or am I overreacting?

I’ve had to do this myself several times in the last 2 years. There is really nothing to worry about unless the car now does not stop straight or the brakes bind. Modern braking systems are designed to handle this type of stops occasionally.

Haha, too funny. Did car stop? What’s ur problem? I can see the brake techs drooling. Looks like $800 brake job is next.

If there could possible be a problem…brake jobs would be doing several hundred brake jobs a day in Boston.

If your brakes are working normal then…no. When I work on my own vehicle’s brakes…I take it out on a deserted road and slam on the brakes at a moderate speed. If any weakness in the brakes exist…it will show up then.

I think that the most important question to consider, prior to determining whether or not there is a brake problem is…Does this car have ABS?

If the car is equipped with ABS, there should not be a 3-4 second tire screech.

Most likely, an economy car like this 14 year old Elantra didn’t come from the factory with ABS, but–if it did–then it is apparent that the ABS function is no longer operative. The brakes may well function normally at all other times, but when jamming on the brakes on a slippery surface, the OP will not have the same protection against losing steering control as he did when the ABS was functioning.

VDC, my own thoughts exactly.

@VDCdriver, thank you for taking the time to provide a detailed reply. So should I be concerned, then?

OP: does your car have ABS ? (Anti-lock braking system) ?

If so, it appears to not be working, from your description.

No need to be concerned. And like MikeInNH eluded to, that type of braking occurs quite frequently.

Being concerned about if you have ABS and if the ABS is working correctly is a separate issue. If I had a 15 year old car like yours and the ABS was not working, I wouldn’t spend money fixing it.

@“Bill Russell” no, I think if I remember from reading my driver manual…it doesnt. What may you be suggesting/hinting at?

@BSCentral , go to a mostly deserted parking lot, get your car up to 25 mph, and do a hard stop - imagine something you don’t want to hit has ran in front of your car. If you stop quickly, no worries, you’re good to go.
If your tires were indeed screeching for 3-4 seconds and you have ABS, you should test your ABS similarly. Mentally, I just can’t force myself to press on the pedal hard enough on dry pavement to engage the ABS, so I wait for a rainy day and do the same test. In my vehicle, I can feel the ABS pulsing the brakes through the brake pedal and hear no screeching tires; I don’t know how other vehicles feel.
I attended a defensive driving class earlier this year. The instructor had us stop suddenly like you did about a dozen times during the driving portion of the class. There is NO WAY the instructor would have let us leave if he had ANY inkling that this would have compromised our braking system. I feel very confident that your sudden stop did not create any problems.
Evidently, something didn’t feel right during your hard stop and you’re appropriately checking it out further.

Thank you. I found a decent video on youtube that explains in depth how to check if your rotor may have an issue. Just for peace of mind, and because it seems like it shouldnt take much time, I may find an empty parking lot and test.

Why someone who had to use brakes for the very purpose you have them for thought they had to be checked after using them is hard to believe.

As others have said, if you don’t have ABS, then your brakes behaved normally and you don’t have any reason for concern.

Volvo, something didn’t seem right to the OP. Stopping hard enough to screech the tires from interstate speeds is not an everyday occurrence. What’s the harm in asking?

If you don’t have ABS, you need to learn the threshold braking technique. Slamming on the brakes and locking up the wheels makes you take longer to stop. Threshold braking basically makes the driver the ABS system. You learn to brake as hard as possible without locking the wheels up.

The most important thing about NOT locking-up your brakes is to be able to maintain steering control, so that you can steer around obstacles at the same time as you are braking.

While no human being can possibly pulse his brakes as rapidly as an ABS system does, at least the driver who knows how to do threshold braking will have some ability to steer around obstacles. The driver who simply locks up his brakes loses the ability to redirect the car.

Boilerength, whether that happens often is really a matter of one’s driving environment. I only rarely have had to do this over the years, occasionally years ago when brake systems could lock 'em up (before ABS), but a braking system in good shape can handle this without any damage.

VDC, that’s only a benefit if there’s room to steer around the obstacle. Personally, I’d rather not compromise my stopping distance to maintain control so that I can steer to a place that often doesn’t exists except on test tracks. I’d prefer to be able to turn my ABS off.

MB–Perhaps you haven’t benefitted from ABS, but that doesn’t mean that others have not.
I can vividly recall a situation on the interstate a couple of years ago that would have resulted in me being in the midst of a huge pile-up if I hadn’t been able to simultaneously exert maximum braking and steer around the accident that took place right in front of me.

If it saves me from even one collision, I think that it has value, and I say that as somebody who has been accident-free since 1970.