While replacing your brakes can be expensive, it’s a necessary investment if you want to keep yourself, your passengers, and other motorists safe while on the road. There’s nothing you can do to avoid ever having to replace your brakes, but there are certain ways you can improve their lifespan. By changing your driving and maintenance habits, you may be able to create a less frequent need for brake replacement in your vehicle.
Coast to a Stop
Some drivers believe keeping one foot on the gas and the other on the brakes can improve their response time in traffic. In reality, it usually causes drivers to press on the brakes more often than they need to, unnecessarily wearing down their brake pads.
On the other hand, coasting—allowing your vehicle to slow before braking—can help extend the life of your brakes. While taking an exit or preparing to stop at a light, take your foot off the gas and let your vehicle naturally slow down before applying the brakes to reduce sudden stress on your brakes.
Sure, the person in front of you might be taking their sweet old time, but try to resist the impulse to tailgate them. Not only is tailgating unsafe (and annoying), but following bumper-to-bumper with the car ahead forces you to tap the brakes more often to avoid a collision, wearing them down quicker. Pass the slowpoke, or try to match the flow of traffic to avoid excessive braking.
Get Rid of Extra Weight
Try not to get in the habit of using your car for extra storage, or, at the very least, clean it out often. The extra weight of those old clothes donation bags, travel pet carriers, or whatever else you’ve got in your trunk adds up fast. A heavier vehicle forces your brakes to work harder to bring your car to a stop.
Flush Your Brakes
Getting regular brake flushes—about every 2 years or 30,000 miles—is one of the best ways to make your brakes last longer. Brake fluid is a hydraulic agent that acts to reduce the brake pedal effort required for you to stop your car. Without it, the brake pads would be pressing against solid metal and would wear out much faster.
However, over time, debris and water absorbed into the brake fluid can compromise the entire brake system. If not replaced during a brake fluid flush, the contaminated fluid can cause your brakes to rust or stop working entirely.
Remember, if your brakes are losing their effectiveness or no longer working properly, contact a mechanic before continuing to drive your car. If they’re in need of replacement, it’s best not to put any further strain on them while driving and wait until you can schedule an appointment with a certified mechanic to help ensure the safety of you and others on the road.
Need a brake fluid flush or brake replacement? Let the ASE-certified technicians at Advanced Repair help you get your vehicle back on the road. Schedule an appointment today at our St. Cloud location.