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If you're looking for how to extend the life of your brakes – this is the blog for you. Here are the top 9 tips to make your brakes last longer (and to keep you safer on the road!).

 

1. Don’t Speed

Speeding increases your chances of needing to brake more dramatically. Frequently slamming on your brakes will harm your vehicle, especially your brakes. So, to ensure your brakes stay strong, create a habit of good defensive driving so you won’t need to use your car brakes in an exhaustive way. 

 

2. Learn to Coast

Coasting is a way of driving that allows for the road to come to you. This involves taking your foot off the gas slowly, allowing the vehicle the time to slow down on its own before applying the brakes harshly. However, coasting can only be done when you have nothing immediately in front of you – so give yourself the adequate driving space and following distance necessary to coast and brake with ease.

 

3. Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating is a dangerous driving habit that can hurt you and your car’s brakes. It’s important to leave enough space between you and the car in front of you so you have enough time to to brake softly. Slamming on your brakes is one of the worst things you can do to your car’s brakes. 

 

4. Use The Three Second Rule

A good driving course will teach you the Three-Second Rule. The Three-Second Rule is where you watch the vehicle ahead of you pass an object, such as a sign, and count, “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three.” If you pass the same point before you finish counting, you are following too closely. 

 

5. Eliminate Excess Weight or Cargo

Just because your vehicle may be able to handle a heavy load, that doesn’t mean you should carry unnecessary weight. This not only weighs on your transmission, but it can also hurt your brakes – especially when braking hard at a high speed. Try to remove unnecessary weight and drag to preserve the longevity of your brakes.

 

6. Shift Down To Use the Engine As A Brake

If you are driving a manual, you can use the engine and clutch to slow your vehicle down, but you won’t be able to bring it to an immediate stop without your brakes. This option is best used when going downhill and you don’t want to "ride your brakes."

 

7. Use One Foot To Create Better Driving Habits 

Even in Driver’s Ed 101, “Two-Footing” your pedals is discouraged. If you tend to put one foot on the brakes and the other foot on the gas, this can lead to more “brake taps” which will greatly damage your car and braking system. Avoid “Two-Foot” peddling and create good driving habits.

 

8. Have Your Car Serviced Regularly 

While it may take time out of your day, getting your car serviced will actually save you time in the long run from car breakdowns. Checking your brakes is something you can have done every time you get your tires rotated or when you get your oil changed. Ask your mechanic or car dealership to check your brake pad thickness. (Most will not charge to simply take a look!)

 

9. Flush Your Brakes Every 2 Years

Brake fluid naturally attracts water. Over time, the moisture can boil when you have repeated emergency braking. Once this moisture builds, it causes corrosion, reducing the lifespan of your brakes. Getting your brakes flushed every 18-24 months can prevent moisture build-up and corrosion.

 

Overall, driving slower and safer will make your brakes last longer – and of course,  the more frequently you use your brakes the more they will wear down. But poor driving habits will hurt your braking longevity because they can strain the brake system and cause the need for repairs. So drive safe and spend less money on repairs and avoid a crucial accident. 

 

At Bob Penkhus, we're here to make sure you stay safe on the road. Schedule an appointment today for a maintenance check, oil change, or to test-drive a variety of new and used Mitsubishi models. Stay safe and we'll see you soon!

 

- Your friends at Bob Penkhus Mitsubishi 

 
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