Get the Most Out of Your Brakes!
May 16, 2017 Topic: Tech Talks
Want to avoid costly brake maintenance on your vehicle? Drive like a grandma!
Well, not really, but it would definitely help. You can buy the most expensive, highest-rated brake pads available, but if you still drive like Dale Earnhardt and try to own the road, they’re going to wear ten times as fast.
What is a brake’s biggest enemy? HEAT!
The cooler your brakes stay, the better they’ll perform: they’ll last longer and provide you with a more comfortable ride. Metal expands when it heats up. If you’re hard on your brakes, it’ll cause your brake rotors (the silver disc) to heat up, expand, and contract, which can lead to an uneven surface for your brake pads. This will not only cause a vibration when you brake but will lead to premature brake pad wear; the vehicle ride will be unbearable and it will take much longer to stop. Most brake pads have metal flake in them to help pull heat away from the rotor and assist with heat dissipation. If you’re constantly on the brakes there’s nowhere for the heat to go and the components become compromised.
We’ve got some quick tips to keep your brakes in tip top shape and last as long as possible:
- Riding your brakes in traffic is a big one. Don’t ride the car in front of you just to slam on the brakes every ten feet. Even though you’re going slowly you’re still overworking those brakes.
- Progressively brake with even pressure, start out light and end light.
- Brake no more than necessary: people tend to over-brake when it’s not needed. You shouldn’t ever need to tap your brakes, you should always be able to brake with even steady pressure.
- Let off your gas pedal several seconds before you need to brake. This will prevent the engine trying to accelerate as your brake.
- Braking early will allow you to lightly brake until you’ve reached a complete stop.
- Rushing up a couple spots in traffic just to slam on your brakes isn’t going to save you much time. Not only is it bad for your brakes, it’s worse on your suspension.
- If you have a stick shift car, use downshifting to slow down the vehicle instead of the brakes.
Make a point to do these things every time you drive and your brakes will live a long and happy life. And if you’re ever unsure of the status of brakes, let Brakes To Go help you diagnose any potential problems.