The brakes are a critical component on any vehicle. The brake pads, fluids, valves, and hoses all require regular maintenance, so you have peace of mind your car will come to a complete stop when you need it to. You should take your vehicle to an experienced technician to look at your brakes and replace any worn-out parts as necessary. However, there is a lot you can do on your own to make sure you get the most out of the braking system. There are many mistakes drivers typically make that wear out the system sooner than normal, and there are various ways to keep brakes working optimally.
It is harder on your brakes when you need to stop your car after traveling 65 miles per hour compared with stopping after going 55 mph. It takes your brakes longer to stop your vehicle, thus producing more heat which can affect your brake components.
Failing To Coast
Take your foot off the accelerator when you know you will need to decelerate soon. When you know you will be stopping at an upcoming stoplight, coast; you will use your brakes for a much shorter amount of time.
Driving a Heavy Car
A large SUV will require more resilient brakes than a standard sedan. There is not much you can do to remove excess weight, but you can regularly clean out your vehicle to remove items that are making your car heavier. In addition to being easier on your brakes, a lighter car is also better for gas mileage and your car’s tires.
Not Replacing Brake Fluid Often Enough
A good rule of thumb to follow is to replace the brake fluid every 30,000 miles. Some vehicles say to replace brake fluid once every 30,000 miles, while others claim you can go as much as 150,000 miles without a change. Regardless, it is better to replace the fluid too often than not enough. Although brake fluid is in a sealed system, it can absorb moisture, which leads to corrosion of the brake parts. It is recommended to have your brakes checked at every oil change.
Braking With Your Left Foot
Some people get in the habit of using their right foot for the accelerator and their left foot for the brakes. This may seem more convenient, but you run the risk of pressing both pedals simultaneously. Not only is this a safety issue, asking your vehicle to stop and go at the same time will wear down the system sooner than anticipated.
You should never tailgate under any circumstances. Under dry weather conditions at highway speeds, you want to leave three seconds of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. You want even more space during inclement weather. If you tailgate, then there is a greater possibility you will need to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. Slamming on the brakes hard wears out the pads faster than gently coming to a stop.
These tips keep your brakes in great condition longer, and they also help you be a safer driver in general. We have locations in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and other cities throughout Arizona. Stop in for a free brake inspection or schedule an appointment at the shop nearest you today.