As a responsible driver, you are well aware of the necessity of keeping your brakes in good working order. What you may not be aware of is how hard you can be on your brakes if you aren't careful. The following tips will help you get the maximum life out of your brakes, which will keep you safe and save you money.
Tip #1: Take advantage of the coast
Coasting to a slow stop instead of hitting your brakes sharply is a sure way to extend the life of the pads. To do this successfully, you need to break the habit of following closely upon the traffic in front of you. Leave a space of several car lengths between your front bumper and the car in front so you never need to slam the brakes or constantly tap the brake peddle. A good rule of thumb is to leave one car length of space for every 10 MPH of speed.
Tip #2: Empty your trunk
Remember the law of physics that an object in motion tends to stay in motion? This is especially true when something is heavy. A heavy car requires more effort to stop, which puts more wear and tear on your brake pads. Clean out the trunk and back seat so you aren't carrying more weight than necessary. If you use sandbags in the back of a vehicle to increase traction in winter, make sure you remove them as soon as the ice melts.
Tip #3: Tend to any noises
Little squeaks and squeals don't necessarily mean your brakes need replaced, but they may indicate an issue that can lead to premature replacement if not addressed. The most common problem is that a rock or other debris has become trapped between the pad and the rotor. Over time, this small rock can destroy the pad or etch a groove in the rotor, resulting in the need to replace both. If your brakes are making a noise, have it checked out immediately.
Tip #4: Keep up on maintenance
Routine maintenance can also increase brake longevity. Brake fluid, for example, may need bled replaced periodically if it becomes discolored or gets moisture inside of it. Another form of routine maintenance that affects your brakes is tire rotation. Well balanced and evenly wearing tires prevents your car from shimmying as it stops, which can cut down on stress on the suspension and brake system of your car. A car that is shimmying or pulling requires more force on the pedal to stop.
For more information, visit a website such as http://www.autoservicefairfax.com.