Stuck brakes

i had an accident when the brakes failed. i stepped on it repeatedly and even checked that i didn’t step on the accelerator by mistake (this is a manual car). in the end, i crashed onto the kerb to avoid a car in front. later, 3 parties checked the brakes and found them to be in good condition, no leaks anywhere. Has anyone encountered such a situation? What could have happened? Need to know the reason, because i’m not sure whether we can trust this car again, even after the repair work (they are not replacing the braking system).

What was the temperature like. If you get a little water into the brake fluid, it can cause the brakes to fail in the way you describe. If you are not sure, I would have the brakes bleed to assure all the water is out. In the summer the exact opposite happens, you step on the brake and it goes to the floor if there water in the system.

How old is your car and have the brakes ever been bleed?

The Kia Forte is a new model, although I’m not sure what “Cerato” means. Could that be the dealer? While it’s not impossible, total brake failure on a nearly new car would be extremely rare.

Are you sure what happened was brake failure and not ABS functioning as designed? If you were on ice or a similar slippery surface with little or no traction you would experience what might feel like brake failure, but it’s just the ABS working.

When this happens the car will not stop until you reach a surface with more traction. I went through a similar situation on the way home from work last week. The road had ice on it and no matter what I did to the brake pedal it did not reduce the forward motion of the vehicle. Scary, but it happens if the road is slippery enough.

Luckily, there was no traffic in the immediate area and I was still able to steer (because of the ABS) until I reached a section of road with no ice. Then everything was fine.

“Brakes failed” is not nearly descriptive enough.
At this point, saying “brakes failed” and expecting a definitive answer is like telling your doctor via the telephone, “I don’t feel well”, and expecting effective treatment.

First of all, which Kia model is this?
What is the model year?
What is the odometer mileage?
Is the car under warranty?
Have the brake pads ever been replaced?
Has the brake fluid ever been changed?

Exactly what happened when you stepped on the brake pedal?
Did the pedal sink to the floor?
Did the pedal seem “hard”, i.e.–not moving when you stepped on it?
Did the pedal operate normally, but there seemed to be no response from the brakes?
Did you feel vibrating when you stepped on the pedal?
What was the ambiant temperature at the time of the incident?
Was there precipitation at the time of the incident or just prior to it?

Were you actually repeatedly stepping on the clutch?

I saw the “stepping on the clutch and thinking it was the brake thing” in the shop once. We were pushing a truck in and we had one of the car jockeys steering (we thought braking also). I am not at all suprised when I read of people getting the pedals mixed up, all it takes is a bit of stress.

I put a Corvette into a pole once because I could not get the hang of hand controls. It was not damaged but the accident was pretty embarassing. I wanted to push the control in for brake effect but I pulled it down at the same time and gave it throttle.

sunny weather, not too long after rain but road is considered dry. it’s 1.5 years old only, and no, brakes never bleed. i’ll try that when it’s repaired.

i wasn’t on ice or slippery road. thanks, i’ll check out the ABS thing.

Model is Cerato Forte, new model just introduced in 2009, this car is 1.5 years old. mileage about 30K, still under warranty but the distributor refuses to take any responsibility. brake pads never been replaced, nor brake fluid changed.

the pedal easily went all the way down, too easily!, but the car did not slow down at all. no vibration. normal temperature, at 11 in the morning, about 25 degrees celcius? rain stopped half an hour before the incident, so road is quite dry already.

thanks for being so detailed.

the clutch is all the way to the left, but my right foot was stepping in the middle, where the brake is. i checked that i didn’t accidentally step on the accelerator already. the investigator also said that if i had mistakenly stepped repeatedly on the accelerator, the car would be moving in a jerky fashion, which it wasn’t.

thanks for sharing that. i wasn’t stressed as i drove, it was a daily route to pick up my kid from kinder. i panicked though, when the brakes failed!!!

Is it possible the car was stalled resulting in no power brakes? That could result in pressing the accelerator without the jerking and not having any brake response when pressing the brakes.

Then upon subsequent inspection no problems could be found.

“the pedal easily went all the way down, too easily!”

If you are telling us that the brake pedal went down further than normal and you had no braking power, then the only conclusion that I can come to is that your brake master cylinder needs to be replaced.

Even though it would be very premature on a fairly new car, it is possible that the seals in the master cylinder are already somewhat worn (or defective). The result can be that the master cylinder is unable to force hydraulic fluid through the brake system, and you have little or no braking power. And, yes, it is possible for the brakes to seem “normal” at another time.

Unless there has been a recall for defective brake master cylinders for this model, I think that the only solution is for you to pay for replacement of the master cylinder. Have it done NOW, as the next accident could result in far more damage or loss of life.

Did you come down a mountain just before this happened?