Your new brake pads can provide safety and security, especially when a hard stop is necessary. However, many drivers do not consider that brake pads can be worn down prematurely through bad driving habits, tail-gating, and excessive speed. Below, you will find 5 tips on how to extend the life of your new brake pads, not destroy them.
1. Drive Slower
When driving, you should attempt to keep to or below the speed limit. Driving faster will require more friction to slow your car down and will wear down your brake pads quicker. Up to 33 percent extra energy is used to slow a car down if it is doing just 10 miles per hour more than the limit. You have to remember that pads have a finite life which is reduced by excessive speed. By driving more slowly, brakes will last longer and keep more money in your pocket.
Stop tail-gating. Not only is it dangerous, tail-gating can cost you cash in the long run. Driving closely behind other cars puts you at the mercy of other drivers' actions. Be proactive by driving further behind other vehicles to eliminate small, quick brakes. If they stop, you need to stop. High-speed braking causes the most wear on your brakes. Pumping your brakes at high speeds can also put wear on your rotors. Damaged rotors can have an uneven surface area that will cause you to need to press the brake pedal down harder. This may cause you to need brake pads replaced more often as well.
3. Coasting to Stops
Coasting to a stop is a practice of using space to slow down as much as possible before actually using your brakes. Coasting before stops gives you ample time to make better driving decisions, slow down naturally, and brake less. This is a great technique especially for longer trips on the highway where you can see further ahead. Employing this during in-town driving may be more difficult. You can't wear out your brakes if you don't use them as much. This habit may take some practice to master but can be very effective in reducing brake wear.
4. Brake Riding
Some drivers also make the mistake of driving with their left foot on the brake. Your driving school teacher would be upset since they did not teach this. By riding the brake, the caliper is constantly applying pressure to the pads and will grind them down quicker. Changing can be difficult to accomplish if we have already developed this pattern. If saving your brake pads from annihilation means anything, getting off that brake will save some of the life of your pads.
5. Remove Extra Weight
Do you treat your trunk like an extra closet? If so, you should remove unnecessary objects from the vehicle to lower the overall weight. Driving with extra weight causes the brakes to need more stopping power to slow down at higher speeds. The camping tent, folding chair, or cooler does not need to be in the trunk, so get rid of them. Braking from 50 miles per hour can take up to 150 feet to stop. An extra hundred pounds of weight in your car can dramatically increase the time it takes to brake. This small tip can allow the vehicle more braking power and improve the life of your brake pads over time.
Braking systems are a critical component of your vehicle's safety. Your vehicle is a very important asset in your life. Be sure to protect both by following some of these tips in your day-to-day driving and be safe on the road!
At Kadotani Auto Repair, you can always rely on us for honest and fair quotes, superb pricing, and skilled automotive labor that won't break up your piggy bank. If you have a maintenance or repair issue with your Toyota, please call us today to schedule a highly skilled inspection and maintenance or repair.
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