Emergency Brake

emergency_brakeAbout a year after the preceding incident, I got a call from another customer who happened to be  that lady’s next door neighbor. It seemed that the front brakes on her 1989 Honda Prelude were squeaking and needed replacement. I made an appointment and went out several days later.

Her car was parked in her driveway all the way to the back. When I started, I put the car in neutral and released the emergency brake and let the car roll downhill several feet to have access to the front of the car for my floor jack. I pulled up on the emergency brake and proceeded to replace the front brake pads. After I was done, she paid me for my services and I left.

Later that night I received a phone call from her, saying that she had had a little accident. It seems that she wanted to go to the market after I had worked on her car. She got into her car and tried to release the emergency brake. Well, being 64 years old and not as strong as me, she couldn’t get the brake handle pulled up far enough to release the brakes.  She tried and tried but to no avail.

Then she had an idea…she got out, pulled the seat forward and climbed into the rear seat with both feet on the floor and both hands on the brake lever. Pulling hard, she finally was able to release the brakes. When she did, the car was still in neutral, so naturally, it started rolling downhill. She was so stunned when the car started rolling that she just screamed and froze.

The open door hit a large pole at the end of her driveway, snapping it off at the hinges,  then continued down the street until she realized that she had her hands on the emergency brake. She then pulled up on the lever and got the car stopped before hitting anything else.

I went out the next day and replaced the hinges on the door for no charge, and gave her my sincerest apology. The only evidence of the incident was a slight dent on the inside of the door.

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