Give your brakes a “break”!
Is there any part of your car that you put more trust in than your brakes? Most people would say “no”. All of us have had at least one incident where a sudden brake slam prevented a minor or major accident. The reality is that animals and children dart into the road, people drive badly, and the weather can also toss some unexpected conditions at us. These are all things that are not supposed to happen but unfortunately, do.
Thankfully, your car brakes live up to the task time and time again. In return, all they ask is that you do your part to make the job of braking as effective as possible by not abusing your car’s complex braking system. If you want to extend the lifespan of your vehicle and avoid unnecessary brake ware, then follow these tips which will save you time, money and stress in the long run!
DON’T RIDE YOUR BRAKES
This is something that new drivers are often guilty of. We have all chuckled at the tell-tale brake lights flicking on and off of a learner driver taking their first ride down a hill. As tempting as this might be and as safe as it might make you feel, all it does is provide a continual grind to your brake pads, which will shorten their life spans. If you need to control your speed, rather change to a lower gear.
INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWING DISTANCE
You can’t avoid slamming on your brakes if the car in front of you makes a sudden stop. What you can do is make a concerted effort to stop and start in a more gentle manner and this starts with a larger following distance. We understand that the temptation to speed is great, especially when you have a brand new car that is begging to be revved, but best leave the Formula 1-style driving for the racetrack and keep your brake pads and rotors from taking the unnecessary strain.
DON’T IGNORE THE SIGNS
A worn brake pad makes a pretty distinctive squeaking, squealing noise. If you start hearing this noise often – or any other sharp grinding, screeching, vibrating noise – there is a fair chance something in your brake system isn’t working as it should. If you find you need a longer distance to brake (or have to push your brake pedal further down than you normally would) then it’s also likely something needs looking at.
These are just a few of the things you can do to give your brakes a break. They will repay the favour by working exactly as they should – and if they aren’t you will get plenty of warning signs that something is off. Keep treating your brakes right and this won’t be happening anytime soon!