Similar to gas mileage, the wear and tear on your brakes will vary depending on where and how you drive. And determining just how long they’ll last depends on several factors.
These simple tricks and tips can help you maximize the life of your braking system—from the brake pads to the brake lines—and help keep you safe on the road.
Listen for your brake pads.
You should have your brake and brake pads checked at least once per year, as these tend to wear more quickly. You should also listen for any squeaking noises when you press your brakes—brake pads have an embedded stip, called a shim; when your brakes wear so thin that the shim is compressed, the shim creates a squeaking noise alerting the driver that the shim is worn. Once the brake pads hit this threshold, it’s time to see your mechanic for brake service. Thankfully, our skilled automotive technicians can help with that!
Keep Track of Your Brake Fluid
Check your brake fluid regularly. Brake fluid is essential to transfer heat to all parts of the brake system and absorb lingering water. If the fluid is unusually dark, like the fluid in the photo above, it may be time to have the system flushed so it doesn’t ruin your brake lines.
Watch for the Warning Signs
Watch out for warning signs such as unusual noises, strange brake response, or abnormal feeling when you press on the brakes. Any of these may indicate a dangerous problem that should be examined by a professional technician right away.
Coast Whenever Possible
While driving, try coasting to slow down before applying brakes whenever possible. This helps to preserve your car’s brakes by putting less pressure on them. This requires that you practice safe driving practices—increasing your following distance, using turn signals, all things you should normally be doing.
You should also avoid braking when cars ahead of you brake unnecessarily. For example, if a car is following too closely to the vehicle ahead of them and must brake constantly to avoid a rear-end accident, but you have plenty of distance to coast between you. Simply coast to decrease your speed and be sure to keep a great distance behind them, not only to preserve your brakes but also for safety purposes.
At V&F, our certified mechanics use the latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to make sure we get the job done right. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.