Brake maintenance is necessary every now and then to make sure your vehicle is completely safe for use. However, you shouldn’t have to be swapping out your brake pads very frequently. If you find your intervals between brake maintenance getting smaller and smaller, some of your driving habits may be to blame.
With this in mind, here are some driving tips from a mechanic in New Palestine, IN that can help you preserve your brakes for longer so you don’t have to spend quite as much time and money on brake maintenance.
Avoid sudden stops
This is perhaps the easiest step you can take to avoid having to deal with ongoing brake issues. Rather than slamming on the brakes right before a red light, stop sign or turn, you should start to slow down farther in advance. This takes a lot of the stress off your brakes, because it allows the engine to do some of the work for you. It also reduces the amount of friction put on the brakes—slamming on the brakes results in a lot of force and friction packed into a short amount of time. It is bad for your brakes, and often bad for your tires as well.
If you’re on the highway, start taking your foot off the gas pedal as soon as you see other vehicles’ brake lights beginning to light up ahead of you, then slow down progressively with the brakes rather than stomping on them.
Be careful on hills and mountains
Especially hilly or mountainous terrain can be awful on your brakes. If you’re going downhill on dry pavement, make sure you drive in lower gears. You should put your vehicle in a gear that allows you to safely travel when beginning down the decline, then apply the brakes lightly and intermittently for about five seconds if your car starts to speed up. This will help you maintain some of the speed and allow the engine to help you out with the braking.
You should never just ride the brakes down a long decline—this means the friction will not stop, and your brake pads will be put into constant contact with the rotor. This will generate a lot of heat, and put a great deal of wear and tear on every component of the brake system.
Watch your following distance
Try to keep plenty of space between you and other vehicles on the highway. You can use the three second rule as a good guideline. Pick any stationary object even with the car in front of you, then count to three. If it takes you less than the count of three to get to that object, then you should try to leave a bit more space.
This isn’t always fully realistic in heavy traffic scenarios, but whenever you have the opportunity to abide by this rule, it’s a good idea to try and follow it.
For more tips to spare your brakes, contact a mechanic in New Palestine, IN at Auto Air & Heating, Inc. today.
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