You may already know that the brakes in your car are important. However, you may not know that there are things you can do to help prolong the life of your brake system and all its components. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your brakes last a long time.
Avoid Sudden Stops
When you have to slam on your brakes unexpectedly, it generates a high amount of heat, which in turn can wear down brake pads and rotors. While you can't always avoid sudden stops, if you remember places where you've had to stop short in the past, you can slow down beforehand. For instance, if there's a hairpin turn you encounter every day on your way home, it should come as no surprise that someone in front of you may take that turn very slowly. Knowing that, you can avoid having to stop suddenly every time there's a slow driver in front of you as you approach that turn.
Downshift on Inclines and Declines
Changing to a lower gear enables the engine to do some of the braking for you, which can extend the life of your brakes. This can be particularly helpful when you are on a steep incline or decline. However, downshifting is only helpful when road conditions are dry. If you try to downshift on a steep incline that is icy, you may start skidding.
Avoid Riding the Brakes
If you're stuck in traffic, you may want to "ride" your brake pedal. What happens when you engage your brake for that long is that you start heating up the brake system for an extended period of time, which is not good for your brake pads. Instead, wait until the car ahead of you is far enough away that you can release the brake and coast for a bit; that will cool down the brake system until you slowly press the brake again to stop.
Do Regular Maintenance Tasks
If you're like many people, you don't bother having a mechanic look at your brakes until there's a problem. However routine maintenance checks, at a location like can ensure your brakes remain in good condition. Have a mechanic make sure the brake pads aren't worn, which can affect the rotors, and be sure that the brake fluid is flushed regularly. With proper maintenance, your brakes can operate well for a while.
Now that you know what you can do to extend the life of your brakes, start using advice in this article. Be sure to talk to your mechanic about more ways to keep your brakes in good shape, so that you can be safe on the road.