Brakes failed last night - crashed the car
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  1. #1
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    Brakes failed last night - crashed the car


    So last night I'm driving home from my office, and my car beeps at me and flahes the brake light. about a mile down the road I go to slow down at a light and the brakes are so weak that I plow directly into the back of a Toyota camry. Everyone was all right, but the front end of my car is wrecked. The hood looks as though it was tin foil. It is still drivable, but needs some major work. It was a little damp put, but not raining. The worst part - The camry had one little divot where my license plate screw hit it, thats it. My whole front end it gonna need to be reworked.

    ARGHHHHHH!!!!

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  3. #2
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    did you reacently do work to the brakes, or they just failed

    and im sorry

  4. #3
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    re

    no, the brakes had been fine. i was gonna take it in today for an oil change, but everything else has been working normally. I've lost all faith in this car.

  5. #4
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    Re: re

    Quote Originally Posted by bags307
    no, the brakes had been fine. i was gonna take it in today for an oil change, but everything else has been working normally. I've lost all faith in this car.
    When was your last brake job on the car?
    Who does the service for the car? If its a dealer, when was the last time he did one?
    Also do you know what caused them to fail or what?

  6. #5
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    A local factor trained mechanic that has always worked on my vw's did it around christmas time. I'm not sure what did it yet. Im assuming that ita ha something to do with either fluid levls (which seems odd - i watch that stuff) or some failure to produce enough vacuum for the brake booster

  7. #6
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    You got any enemies? Hit anything recently possibly? Damage to a hydrolic line or fitting sounds possible under car. Did you try the emergency brake while trying to stop? This is a mechanical brake vs. a hydrolicly operated system. Emergency brakes almost always work. May have saved you in this case.

  8. #7
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    Even if it was a vacuum issue, there is atleast a good 3 pumps of the pedal before its totally out. The brake booster is ment to hold the vacuum for how ever long it takes and for safety, the booster holds enough vacuum in the boosterif the brakes do fail, to still allow you to stop the car.

    Im sorry to hear that this happened but hopefully you can find the issue and get things fixed.

  9. #8
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    no, but i should have. It just felt like I had very little power to the brakes. Usually our brakes are touchy if anything, this time they were weak as all heck

  10. #9
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    Maybe its your tires? Are (were) they in good shape? Keep in mind that damp roads, and heat are a VERY bad mixture, and cause alot of accidents. The heat will make the oils and debris on the road come to the surface after a slight, misty rain. That causes the surface to be slick, and can make stoping very difficult. I just hope that you werent on a cel phone, and had plenty of distance between you, and the car infront of you.

  11. #10
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    Re: Brakes failed last night - crashed the car

    Quote Originally Posted by bags307
    <snip> my car beeps at me and flahes the brake light. about a mile down the road I go to slow down at a light <snip>
    Why on earth did you wait a mile? If the brake light flashes, you stop right then and there!!!

  12. #11
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    Re: Brakes failed last night - crashed the car

    Quote Originally Posted by VAB5
    Quote Originally Posted by bags307
    <snip> my car beeps at me and flahes the brake light. about a mile down the road I go to slow down at a light <snip>
    Why on earth did you wait a mile? If the brake light flashes, you stop right then and there!!!
    Doesn't it also flash STOP! STOP! STOP!

  13. #12
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    If your brake booster failed you would have anextremely hard brake pedal. If the pedal went to the floor, then it's possible that a brake line burst, causing all the brake fluid to leak out, and in turn turning on the low brake fluid level light (same as parking brake light) on. As soon as the light came on, you should of pulled over. I'm sorry to hear about your accident.

  14. #13
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    bags307-

    When the light came on you probably should have stopped then. Oh well at least you weren't injured.

    I'll willing to bet a brake line corruded due to the nasty northern salt. I had the same thing happen to a Chevy Berrata when it was like 5-6 years old. Brakes worked great until I pushed them to at a red left turn signal, and nothing. Went thru the intersection at about 40mph and managed not to hit anything. :roll:

    Hope you can get the car fixed up ok.

  15. #14
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    thanks guys. Its going to the garage tomorrow. I was able to drive it home, but it isnt right. It scard the hell out of me though, and made me question alot of things about the car. The CAMRY that I hit had a quarter sized scratch on his bumper, and my whole front bumper, grill, and hood are wrecked. WHatss up with that!!!?

  16. #15
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    thanks guys. Its going to the garage tomorrow. I was able to drive it home, but it isnt right. It scard the hell out of me though, and made me question alot of things about the car. The CAMRY that I hit had a quarter sized scratch on his bumper, and my whole front bumper, grill, and hood are wrecked. WHatss up with that!!!?

  17. #16
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    Maybe thats one reason to not doubt your passat. You hit a camery and its so ridgid that it doesnt do anything. Whereas your passat absorbed most of the impact (doing what it was designed to do). I doubt it was the car. Like others said, the second the brake light went on you should have stopped IMMEDIATLY. VW Put these safety devices on our cars for reasons. If people choose to ignore them when they go off then blame it all on the car, then there is nothing anyone can do :roll: Sorry if I sound harsh, just not a great idea to ignore the safety warnings that our cars give us. Think about what would have happened if there wasnt a car to plow into. You could have gone into the intersection, gotten hit from the side at 40+ mph. I guarentee you that you would need much more than a new bumper if that happened :sad:

  18. #17
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    i know i should have heeded the light, and you are right. But i am blown away at how much damage there was to the car. So now the next question is: Should I get some aftermarket stuff instead of the stock peices. ?

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bags307
    But i am blown away at how much damage there was to the car.
    Can you post pictures? Did your car dive under the Camry? Did the front bags blow? I am curious as to why you are suprised at the amount damage of to your car? I have seen several accidents where someone is rear ended and the bullet car has more damage then the target car.

    Having some pictures may help the rest of us better understand the damage.

  20. #19
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    My Camry has been hit in back no less than 6 (SIX) times and the grand total of the damage is some scuffed paint on the left hand side where the lot porter at the last dealership hit it with an Audi.

    You should have seen the Audi.

    Hehe.

  21. #20
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    How/why, would/did you drive your car after the warning light goes off for a brake problem, continue driving a mile, crash into another car because your brakes fail, sustain major damage to your car, then (are able to) drive it home?

    I just don't understand why you would question the car after it warned you that you had a break problem or why you would even attempt to drive it home after what you described?

    I am glad that the people in the other car and yourself are ok and didn't get hurt. I hope you get things figured out.

    Good Luck!

  22. #21
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    What year was the Camry? Safety design standards have undergone a huge change in the past 10 years.

  23. #22
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    Hey yo whuz the Dilio?

  24. #23
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    That's sort of weird. I progressively lost all brake pressure during a 200 mile drive once, due to the rubber brake lines falling apart. But the car had over 200K miles and was 17 years old, and the brake lines were original. This just shouldn't happen to a relatively new car, even in salty conditions.

  25. #24
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    Don't be too sure that the Camry you hit is without damage. Before we got our Passat we had a Camry (1991). It was hit from behind several times and there was always some sort of damage. The worst damage was when we were stopped at a stoplight on the West Side Highway in Manhattan. One car in front of me. In my rearview mirror I caught sight of a car that was clearly not breaking and headed right for us. The car hit us which sent us forward to hit the car in front of us, we bounced back and hit the car behind us again. My head hurt and a small piece of plastic that surrounded the ignition key area fell off. It appeared to be the only damage. We forced the guy to give us his insurance information (he was reluctant). We then went to the local police precinct and filled out an accident report. Lucky for us we did because we discovered, after taking the car in, that the underside of the car had shifted forward from the impact and it cost around $4000 worth of body repair -- paid for by our insurance. So, the Camry you hit, may or may not have suffered in this accident.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimboNmd
    How/why, would/did you drive your car after the warning light goes off for a brake problem, continue driving a mile, crash into another car because your brakes fail, sustain major damage to your car, then (are able to) drive it home?
    I have to agree. What did you use for brakes on that drive home?

  27. #26
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    Don't forget to let us know what caused the brake failure when you get the report from the garage! I think we're all curious about it.

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGuyInCA
    Don't forget to let us know what caused the brake failure when you get the report from the garage! I think we're all curious about it.
    Yeah Me too? About the Passat being weak in the front end. I'm shocked about that cuz .. I've hit a wall once at just under 5 mph. (was really stupid how it happenned.. was on the phone and just as a rolled up to the parking spot i tapped on the gas instead of the brakes when i dropped my pen trying to scribble a number down) but anyway .. not a single line or sheet metal moved out of place .. all i had was just a little nick on the tag mount.

    Another innocent that i can vouch for about the structural integrity of the car is my passat was pushed really hard into a van that was in front of me when i got smashed in the back by a 8 ton flat bed .. again to my surprise only the tag mount was popped out of place but structurally not a line moved in examining the sheet metal alignment on the front..

    Needless to say the rear end quarters had to be replaced. It no fun getting rear ended.. especially when you see it coming and you look around and there's no escape root.. BTW the bastard was on his cell phone while driving that 8 ton tow truck .. isn't that ironic w/ my earlier self inflicted front end dinking with the wall. ( I was lucky not a scratch) .. Lesson don't talk on cell phones or answer phones while driving!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you must pull off to the side of the road so you don't kill somebodies Beautiful Passat.

  29. #28
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    From the wrecks that I have seen, the rear ends of cars usually fair better than the front in collisions.

    Glad that you are okay and no one was hurt.

  30. #29
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    Any news on this???

  31. #30
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    Most cars front bumpers are designed for aerodynamic purposes and not to take direct impact as well as the rear bumpers that are purely designed to absorb impact.... while the front bumper and hood are damaged, I bet the actual steel bumper hidden behind all the plastic is fine.

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