Your vehicle’s brakes are one of the most critical components to staying safe on the road. If your brakes aren’t working correctly, you risk putting yourself, your family, and other drivers in danger. To keep that from happening, taking care of your brakes is essential. Here are five tips on how to take care of your brakes to make them last — and save money on brake repairs in the process!
Drive the Speed Limit
High-speed joy rides are not your brake’s friend. And, the faster you go, the more brake material and energy it will take for the brakes to stop your vehicle, and the quicker the brakes wear. Most importantly, speed limits are put into place to save lives — therefore, it’s essential you always obey the speed limit.
Drive With One Foot Only
Some drivers believe when they use both their feet to press the accelerator and the brake, it improves their response time. But, it’s really not safe to do this, not to mention, you’re running the risk of placing constant, light pressure on the brakes while driving. This is known as “brake riding.”
When you continue doing this over time, the rotors warp and brake pads wear down. Instead, drive using only your right foot.
Try Engine Braking
When winding down a mountain or driving down a steep hill, it can be tempting to ride your brakes to stay at a safe speed. Instead of holding the brake pedal down completely, try engine braking. This technique allows the vehicle’s engine to do the work. Engine braking is where you shift down through the vehicle’s gears to slow its speed.
While you can practice engine braking on automatic transmission vehicles, it’s more effective in vehicles with a manual transmission. But, if you do try engine braking, you don’t want to jump to a real low gear or shift at a very high-speed since this could cause damage to the engine and transmission.
Give Yourself Some Time To Slow Down
Tailgating (following too close behind another vehicle) is dangerous and is a leading cause of quick brake system wear. This is because the closer you are to another vehicle, the more harshly and frequently you’ll depress the brakes to slow down. This causes the brakes to wear faster. Additionally, allow yourself some time to slow down by keeping a bigger gap between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Flush Brake Fluid At Regular Intervals
It’s important to regularly check your brake fluid. The brake fluid in your vehicle is vital to transferring heat to all the brake system’s parts and absorbing water. When you check the brake fluid, if it’s a darker color, it’s likely time to have it flushed.
Schedule an Appointment with Big Chief Tire
The steps above can help make your brakes last longer, however, we’re here for you when trouble arises. There are certain brake issues that only a professional can catch. It’s a good idea if you notice any change in the performance of your brakes, to have the professionals take a look.
Schedule an appointment with us here at Big Chief Tire in Jacksonville, FL, and learn more about the brake services we provide. These include brake inspection, parking brake adjustment, brake rotor replacement, front and rear brake repair, and more! We service brakes on all models and makes, and will even provide you with a free estimate.