Brake pads are replaceable parts. They’re designed to wear out because all of the friction and excess energy of braking is driven straight towards these parts. But just because you’re supposed to get them replaced doesn’t mean you want to be replacing them all the time. Here are three ways to make your brakes last longer:
1. Coast when you can.
Coasting is one of the best things you can do if you want to save on gas. But it does more than improve your mpg. It also means your brakes have to do less work as you’re driving. If you know you’re going to be exiting in a few seconds to an access road with a lower speed, take your foot off the gas a bit early and let your car handle the slowdown. If you see a light turning yellow up ahead and you know you’re going to stop at the intersection, coast and then slowly brake. Just switching from a constant speed to braking send a lot of energy straight towards your brake pads.
2. Learn other drivers’ behaviors on your route.
Whether you’re driving around town or your daily commute takes you onto the highway, it’s easy to start learning the patterns. There’s always at least one spot where everyone slows down. Learn these spots so you can start to coast or slowly slow down before you reach them. That’s good for your brakes. It’s also good for traffic: when one person brakes, so will the person behind them and the person after that. That’s why highways develop massive slowdowns without a clear cause.
3. Ask your mechanic which brake pads are right for your driving.
People are wary about trusting mechanics. But incorporating a reliable mechanic’s advice can save you a lot of time and money. Different brake pads are made with different types of driving in mind. So tell your mechanic if you spend a lot of time on the highway or if you mostly drive in the suburbs. The right tools always last longer.
Go to Fast Eddie’s Automotive Repair the next time you need new brake pads or if your brakes are starting to rattle.