7 Tips for Avoiding Brake Wear

Avoid brake wear | brake light

No matter what type of car you drive, your brakes are a crucial part of safe driving. Developing good driving habits and taking the proper care of your brakes can avoid wearing them out prematurely. Of course, there are some circumstances out of your control, such as frequently driving on hilly terrain. But for most city drivers, these tips will prove useful in avoiding unnecessary brake wear.

1. Don’t Brake Sharply

Swift and sudden braking can do a lot of damage, especially if it happens often. While sharp braking is sometimes necessary to avoid an accident, it should only be utilized in extreme situations. Instead, try to anticipate slowdowns and stops before it become necessary to slam on the brakes.

2. Avoid Braking at High Speeds

This can also do a good deal of damage to your brakes, especially if you are a repeat offender. Keep in mind that stopping a car at a much higher speed places more strain on your brakes. Attempt to slow down more naturally in high speed situations, and reserve braking for lower speeds or for when it is necessary.

3. Utilize Coasting

Coasting can really save your brakes, especially on highways and high-speed roads. This requires more planning ahead, but being more aware of your surroundings is probably not a bad thing. Try to perfect your timing based on speed and distance, then use your brakes when needed towards the end of your coast.

4. Don’t Be a Follower

This is an especially prevalent problem in the Dallas area. One driver taps his brakes, and the five cars behind him follow suit. This constant braking can slowly cause a lot of brake wear. Keeping an eye ahead on the traffic flow can help you determine if you really need to brake, or if you can simply coast through a situation, or possibly change lanes.

5. Keep Weight in Mind

No, I’m not talking about your personal weight, I’m talking about your vehicle’s. While the average driver is most likely not dragging around super heavy items, it is something to be aware of. Consistently driving around with larger items can eventually cause brake wear, because you are having to stop a heavier object than normal. Try to keep your vehicle as light as possible, especially for smaller, less powerful cars.

6. Care for Your Brakes

Don’t neglect your brake care. Instead, remember to have your brakes checked as a part of your routine maintenance schedule. This can include flushing and replacing brake fluid, close inspections of the discs and rotors, and lubrication of the brake pedal. If you are consistently performing maintenance, your brakes should be well cared for.

7. Don’t Be a Two Footed Driver

This is absolutely terrible for your brakes, and just a horrible habit all around. Driving two-footed should definitely be avoided, because often your left foot gets a little overeager and tries to help out, even when you definitely don’t need it! Keep your left foot firmly on the ground, and let your right foot do the work. This will save your brakes a lot of wear and tear, and keep those behind you from becoming frustrated with your constant brake lights.

Making an effort to consciously avoid brake wear can greatly improve the life of your brakes, and even make you a better driver. Having brakes that work well is essential to avoiding potential accidents, and keeping you and your passengers safe.