Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your car. When cared for properly, they can last you for a very long time. In addition to regular brake inspections, here are some money-saving tricks to help your brakes last longer:
Stopping from a high speed is a surefire way to ruin your brakes. Just 10 miles per hour can make a huge difference on the wear and tear to your braking system. When you are driving, the motion of your vehicle is known as kinetic energy. When you use your brakes, they stop the car by turning that energy into heat. Driving at a lower speed creates less kinetic energy which means less brake material will be sacrificed when bringing your car to a stop.
Drive with your right foot.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but driving with your right foot can do wonders for reducing the wear on your brakes. People who attempt to drive with both feet often end up mashing both pedals at the same time. This causes unnecessary damage to your braking system which means they will need to be replaced sooner.
Coasting is one of the easiest ways to avoid driving at speeds that can kill your brakes. Not only does coasting save gas, but it also gradually lowers your speed so you are not forced to come to a sudden stop.
Pay attention to your surroundings.
The next time you take a drive, make a conscious effort to keep tabs on the drivers around you. This will help you pick up on driving patterns such as inappropriate braking, speed, improper lane changes or early coasting, which will help you adapt your driving accordingly. If you know that the person in front of you is going to begin braking well before they reach the stoplight, you can begin coasting to create some distance. Not only does this mean less wear on your braking system, but it might save you some gas too.
Look ahead of traffic.
In addition to making note of your surroundings, looking ahead of traffic can also help you reduce the impact to your braking system. Making note of traffic buildup or brake lights can help you adjust your speed to minimize brake impact.
Avoid bandwagon braking.
Many drivers brake simply because the person in front of them did. In most cases, the person who started the chain reaction had no reason for applying their brakes. While it takes a bit of practice, learning to coast when other drivers begin braking inappropriately can help reduce the wear and tear on your braking system.
Drop Some Weight.
Remember that the weight of your car can make a huge difference in the amount of energy required to stop it. With that in mind, avoid carrying unnecessary items in your car. Having a trunk full of junk can weigh down your car and cause more stress on your braking system. Aftermarket parts like wheels and tires can also add a lot of weight to your car. Always remember that a heavier car is going to be harder on brakes. This means they will need to be replaced sooner.
Have your brake system flushed regularly.
To keep your braking system in top shape, it is imperative that you have your brake fluid changed periodically. During this process, our technicians will bleed and flush your brake fluid. This is especially important if your vehicle is older or was purchased used. Saving brake material won’t do you any good if the inner parts of your system have rotted away.
Flushing brake fluid helps the internal parts of your brake system last longer and work better. Since brakes naturally attract water, the moisture accumulated during an emergency stop or repeated hard braking can quickly reduce the overall effectiveness of your braking system. The moisture can also lead to corrosion which can damage the rubber seals of your system. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend having your brake fluid flushed every other year.
Taking care of your brakes may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these simple tips and regularly bringing your car in for brake inspections can dramatically prolong the life of your braking system.