When you are driving down the road, you trust that every part of your car works. You believe that when you step on the brakes, the car will stop.
But sometimes, parts malfunction. Brakes don’t work, at least not as quickly or efficiently as they should. Other than having your brakes checked regularly, what can you do to maximize the lifespan of your brakes?
You can take specific, purposeful steps to slow down your brake wear. Here are a few things you can do to give your brakes a longer life and give you peace of mind as you drive.
High speed plays a large role in the life of your brakes. The faster you go, the harder your brakes have to work to stop your vehicle. If you slow down, your brakes won’t have to work as hard.
You can waylay a brake replacement and get better mileage by driving more slowly regularly.
No one likes a tailgate, at least the kind where you hang on someone’s bumper. You may believe that tailgating will help you arrive at your destination more quickly by encouraging the driver in front of you to either speed up or to slow down so you can pass them.
Tailgating puts your vehicle and well-being a risk. It also wreaks havoc on your car brake parts. You have to brake more often at a hard and fast pace, sucking energy from the brakes and wearing them down more quickly.
Simply backing off the bumper of the car in front of you will give your brakes more longevity.
Whenever you take your car in for an oil change, have the mechanic flush and replace your brake fluid. The pressure in your brake fluid causes your car to stop when you tap on the brakes. Occasionally, the brake fluid heats up.
When the brake fluid heats up, moisture contaminates the brake fluid container. Moisture will build up, damage parts, and lead to rusting.
When you have a mechanic flush your fluids, you remove the moisture and avoid this brake down. A mechanic that specializes in car brake replacement services will be able to properly diagnose your brake problems.
Use One Foot Only
Remember that your brake is not your clutch. Do not ever use your left foot to drive when you do not have a clutch. Some drivers pick up the bad habit of slamming on their brakes with their left foot.
Using two feet when you drive will ultimately cause damage to your vehicle. When you depress your accelerator and your brake pedal simultaneously, you shorten your brake’s life span. Stick with your right foot only when you drive.
Coast First, Then Stop
Coasting is an effective technique to spare your brakes and to increase fuel efficiency. You can slow down before you tap on your brakes by coasting or by completely letting up off the gas pedal but not pressing on your brakes. Your vehicle will naturally slow down unless you’re going down a hill.
Coasting does not work in all circumstances. If you’re going downhill, for example, your car will actually speed up.
Rather, coasting requires you to drive with awareness. You cannot space off and check out what’s going on on the sidewalk beside you, but instead, you should be looking straight ahead and scoping out the chance to coast instead of full-on braking.
A heavier load requires more braking power. Your brakes will have to work harder to stop a heavy vehicle versus a light vehicle. So when you’re traveling, remove unnecessary, heavy items.
If you see your vehicle begin to sag because of the weight of its cargo, lighten the cargo.
Reconsider aftermarket products as well. Typical aftermarket upgrades will weigh more than the original counterparts. As a result, your vehicle will weigh more, and your brakes will have to work harder to stop your vehicle.
If you lighten your load, you will also snag better gas mileage. Experts claim that an extra 100 pounds can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 1 percent. So, to get better mileage and to save your brakes, lighten your load.
Utilize Your Engine
If you’re driving a manual transmission vehicle, you can use your engine to brake. When you leave your engine at lower speeds as you go down a hill, you utilize something called engine braking.
As you descend a hill, put your vehicle in a lower gear instead of stepping on the brakes. This naturally slows down your vehicle and saves wear and tear on your brakes.
Be careful when you do this. Lowering your gears too much and too quickly can damage your transmission. Transmission repair will ultimately cost far more than brake repair. So engine brake with caution.
Save the Brakes
New braking systems in the average automobile will cost between $300 and $800. More luxurious vehicles will cost more than $1,000. No matter how you put it, replacing brakes will cost you money.
To make the most of your brakes, drive purposefully. Slow down by coasting or engine braking. Lighten your cargo load, slow your car down, and stay off the tail of the car in front of you.
These basic tips will keep your brakes in tip-top shape and allow you to make the most of them.
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