Brakes are arguably one of the most important systems on your car from a safety standpoint. Making sure they work, and work well, can be the difference between happy driving and a horrible accident. The brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer and your driving habits. The following tips can help you safely get the most miles out of your pads.
Tip #1: Foster Good Habits
Your driving – and braking – habits are the main thing under your control that will extend the life of your brake pads. Don't tailgate, and get in the habit of leaving a long stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. Also, look ahead when you are driving so you can begin slowing up for turns, stop signs, and lights well in advance. The less often you slam on your brakes and the more gradually you brake, the long your brakes will last.
Tip #2: Lighten Your Load
A full trunk results in a heavier car, and a heavier car requires more effort to stop. Don't haul around things you don't use or need in your trunk, the backseat, or the bed of your truck. If you use sandbags in winter for added weight and traction, remove them in spring. Also, consider the weight you are adding onto your car via aftermarket parts. Heavy rims and wheels, unnecessary tail fins, or weighty racks and running boards can also lessen the lifespan of your brake pads.
Tip #3: Service Is King
Periodic bleeding and flushing of the brake fluid can save the internal workings of your brakes, which means it takes less effort and wear on the pads to stop. Brake fluid can attract moisture and impurities, which leads to poor braking. This can also cause corrosion and bubbles in the brake fluid. Periodic flushing prevents this. How often you bleed and flush depends on the make and model of your car, so look in the owner's manual for an exact specification. Failing that, servicing the brakes every couple of years is usually more than sufficient.
When it is time to get new pads, opt for those with the longest warranty. These pads will last longer than the budget varieties out there, which makes them a better value in the long run. Your brake repair specialist can help you choose the best pads for your specific car and driving habits. For more information, talk to a company like Express Oil Change.