A few years back, it occurred to me that we had to do something about our vehicle. It was old, outdated, and incredibly unreliable. We were never sure if it would live longer than our next road trip, so we started doing what we could to make some changes. We went through, decided to replace some of the parts, and then focused on avoiding problems during our daily drives. Within a few weeks, the vehicle was running better, and we knew that we had protected the engine. This website is all about choosing the right car and knowing how to streamline problems.
If you own a car, you likely understand that regular maintenance is key to keep things in good shape. That said, while most car owners know to keep an eye on everything under the hood, there's one aspect of your car you might not spend a lot of time thinking about but is absolutely crucial to the vehicle's performance: the brakes. If you want to be able to go a long time on your current brakes before having to head to the auto shop for a brake replacement, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Coast Whenever Possible
Some drivers have a bad of habit of tapping the brakes every single time they want to slow down even a little bit. Even light taps will put wear and tear on your brakes when you do enough of them over time. Instead of actually touching the brake pedal, try and master the art of coasting. Coasting is when you gently ease off of the gas but don't hit the brakes and allow the car to just slowly start to slow down. Take advantage of downhills to generate speed and keep your foot off the brakes unless absolutely necessary.
Leave a Cushion With the Car in Front of You
This is easier said than done depending on traffic, but whenever possible, leave a wide berth between you and the vehicle that is in front of you on the road. That way, if the car in front of you comes to a sudden stop, you'll have enough reaction time to tap the brakes gently and come to a stop yourself in time. If you drive right up on the car in front of you, you will likely have to slam your brakes for a sudden stop instead, and that will shorten your brake life.
Memorize the Traffic Pattern
If you frequently travel the same road on your commute every day, pay attention to where the bends and curves are, and make note of any trouble areas that cause other drivers to suddenly brake. If you know what is coming your way, you will be able to use the coasting strategy discussed earlier to greater effect and be better prepared to react for any sudden stops, hopefully without having to pound your own brakes in the process.
If you want your brakes to last a long time, learn how to coast as much as possible, leave extra room between you and the car in front of you, and pay attention to the regular traffic pattern on your daily commute. When the day finally does come for a brake repair or replacement, reach out to a local auto shop for assistance.