What’s the condition of your car’s brakes? They’re easily some of the most important components of a vehicle but if they’re not maintained properly they can cause a world of trouble for your car’s functionality and thus its safety. Fortunately, it’s easier to take care of the brakes than you might think. Here are some helpful tips to make your brakes last longer:
1. Use one foot
If you use your left foot on the brake pedal then you’ll be more likely to step down on the acceleration and brake pedals at the same time, which can wear down your brakes faster. This is a key benefit as it can prevent the need to replace the brake pads or entire units sooner than you should.
Another issue is that it could even cause a safety issue. Besides constantly tapping on the brakes you could accidentally step down on the brake pedal at the wrong time, which could cause your vehicle to stop abruptly and possibly create a safety issue.
2. Coast more
It might be surprising but you can reduce a lot of over-braking by cost. In fact, it’s an easy way to make your brakes last longer. When should you coast? Consider cases like being at the end of a highway off-ramp. You could coast as your vehicle reduces speed instead of hitting the brakes. This helps to boost the life of the auto components so you won’t have to replace them earlier than normal.
3. Slow down
While you generally shouldn’t drive much lower than the speed limit you should also avoid driving your car faster than you need to. One of the key issues is more force is needed to stop a vehicle going 65 mph than 55 mph, for example. This can cause parts like the brake pads to wear down faster, which can result in more costs to maintain your vehicle. The solution is to drive at the designated speed limit whether you’re on a city highway or country road. That will help to make your brakes last longer and save you money in the process.
4. Don’t always follow the leader
It can seem normal to accelerate or brake simply because the vehicle in front of you did. The problem is that sometimes this didn’t happen for a valid reason. It takes some time to figure out when the vehicle ahead of you hit the brakes when they didn’t have to, but it’s a useful skill.
5. Watch ahead
When driving you can see objects like stoplights, inclines, or backed-up traffic. You should also look past the next traffic signal. This allows you to place your car in the middle of the lane. In fact, you might be surprised how far ahead you can see from your current position.
Using this approach can be effective because you’re constantly looking ahead so you’ll know what’s next on the road. It will make your use of the gas/brake pedal more effective because you’ll already have a sense of where you’ll need to speed up, slow down, or stop.
6. Slow down with other autos
There are certain situations when it’s common for vehicles to slow down. They include highway bends that are mistaken as sharp turns and hills. In this situation, you’ll frequently have to slow your vehicle down by coasting so you’re moving at the pace of the other vehicles around you. They’ll pass you at the next straight-away or downhill but you’ll have the benefit of saving your brakes as well as fuel. In the long-term, this can help to save you a substantial amount of money, which is a good thing.
7. Lighten loads
If you want to extend the life of your brakes it’s a good idea to get rid of items that you don’t need to haul around with you everywhere. For example, there are some aftermarket auto parts like wheels/tires that can add a ton of weight to your vehicle.
The reason is if your vehicle is heavier it will make it tougher to break. That, in turn, will put pressure on the parts since it will require more force to stop the vehicle. In fact, it can also cause wear and tear on the tires and other parts.