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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had a young mother push her pram out in front of me without looking on an A road two mornings ago and as a result stood on the brake and clutch peddles, coming down from around 65mph to a dead stop with all the car's weight on it's nose very very sharply.

Fortunately I managed to stop just in time - in true action-movie style I came to a steaming stop less than four feet from the pram with whisps of white smoke coming from the front wheels.

To give you some background this is a GT V6 (which has the very large front discs), and the front discs and pads were only changed about a month/200 miles ago so may not yet have had chance to bed in (although they've always been very keen). The car stopped very quickly, absolutely dead straight and true, the ABS did it's job: no severe juddering, no swerve (I can only be thankful that it was a dry morning!), no screeching tires. Really a testament to the braking system.

What worries me is that just at the very last moment as I came to a halt and the car's weight settled backwards, there was a very loud metallic snapping noise from somewhere in front of the cabin and you could see wisps of white smoke coming from the front wheels with an accompanying burning smell. The car didn't judder or jump when it made the noise, the peddles sprung back fine.

The smoke/burning smell I can understand as likely having been a result of the sudden and heavy braking on new discs/pads, and I could feel the heat coming off them as I got out of the car. But I've looked the car over, all the levels under the bonnet are OK, it's not losing any fluids, the brakes and clutch still behave exactly as they did before, and the end of the peddles' travel is in the same place. The callipers and brake mountings all seem totally solid still (and in the right place!) and there's no cracks or marks in the discs. The car still behaves perfectly, drives straight and true without any juddering.

So what was that noise? I'm half tempted to think I grounded it on something because the car's nose was so far down at the time, or perhaps I just hit some rubbish on the road (a plastic bottle or something) but knowing what tremendous pressure everything must have been under at the time, I'm a little concerned that something somewhere has given way and the results haven't yet materialised; I've driven the car since without issue and it's definitely still braking evenly and overall behaving correctly.

Should I be concerned?
 

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It could be any of a number of things, most likely settling suspension springs but possible pretty much anything bouncing back into position. If you are worried then you will only have your mind put at rest by having the car professionally examined, but chances are that everything is fine. An emergency stop shouldn't break any car!

That said, keep an eye on the efficiency of the brakes. Standard pads only really support one full-on emergency stop. The massive overheating can burn off a lot of the resins and reduce their efficiency. They will probably be fine but give them some testing before the next pram leaps out at you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Chris,

Thank you!

An emergency stop shouldn't break any car!
That's exactly what I thought, but thought it was worth checking to make sure that here isn't any known failure points or anything with these particular cars. I really do think it was just a result of the car settling backwards after essentailly being stood on it's nose!

Standard pads only really support one full-on emergency stop.
Is that really true? I'd be really surprised (although not, if you see what I mean..!), I used to do emergency stops from 30/40mph whilst learning to drive all the time. I'll certianly be keeping a close eye on it though, I figured the most likely area to have failed (if indeed anything has) would be the braking system somewhere - I even worried that I'd snapped the pin in the peddle but it all seems ok so I'll just be a little more tepid and keep a close eye out for any emerging problems. And idiot teenagers with prams!
 
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I've experienced a similar noise a couple of times if I've been moderately heavy braking and hit any small potholes or ruts in the road. I'm not sure what causes it but nothing seems to be broken, I've had a couple of services and MOT's since, so I don't think its anything to worry about.
 
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