Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

3 Ways to Increase the Average Life of Car Brakes

brake drum

Keeping your vehicle's brakes in working shape can often mean life or death while driving in emergency situations. Because brake pads are meant to withstand friction and strain by nature, it stands to reason that they often wear out in time. The amount of use and length ultimately depends on the amount of strain and quality of parts used.

For instances, while some brake sets can take 70,000 miles (112,500km) before giving out, this is only assuming the driver has minimized wearisome driving habits. More often, brakes will lose their efficacy following 25,000 miles (40,000km). While there's no way to make brakes last indefinitely, there are several things you can keep in mind to ensure they last as long as they can.

Smooth driving and soft braking

Braking at higher speeds places an increasingly disproportionate strain on the brakes. As a general rule, if you need to brake at high speeds outside of emergency situations, you're probably going too fast or stepping on the gas for too long. Regulating your speed and softly braking can ease off the strain on your brakes; doing this also has the effect of resulting in a smoother ride for you and your passengers. Hard braking should only be used in emergency situations and split-second decisions.

Using proper braking technique

When you're stopping at lights and intersections, it is healthier for the brakes to come to a complete stop, rather than allowing the wheels to inch forward. This wheel creep means the wheels are under constant friction; braking the wheels further and stopping the car completely will generally put less wear on the brakes. On the topic of braking, it's also good to commit to only using your right foot for braking and gas alike. Nothing wears out brakes (and tires!) unnecessarily like applying pressure to both pedals simultaneously. While this doesn't have any practical benefits to the car or driver, it's nonetheless a surprisingly common mistake that you should avoid if you want to maximize the longevity of your brake set.

Making brake-conscious car decisions

Regardless of a driver's braking habits, the overall strain can be generally lessened if you lighten the load of a car. Taking out unnecessary luggage will result in less friction for the brakes. Although it may sound like an obvious fact, the life of brakes can be extended by minimizing their use. Although you definitely shouldn't be frugal with braking while you're out driving, you may be able to plan your car trips accordingly, favoring routes with less congestion and fewer intersections.

Brakes should be regularly maintained to improve their longevity. You should get your brake fluid regularly changed. Maintaining your parts is important across the board, but it should be noted that the quality of parts has a big effect on longevity. It should also be noted that most of the things you can do to minimize brake wear will also improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency. If you want the best from your brakes, you should consider upgrading your brake set. If you're interested in having your brakes looked over, don't hesitate to reach out to a YourMechanic representative for help.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance Related Trouble Codes: P2158: Vehicle Speed Sensor B P2160: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Circuit Low P2161:...


Related questions

Q: I am replacing my power brakes booster and need some advice about removing the power unit from the bell crank.

Hi there. When removing the brake booster from a vehicle, you will need to remove the master cylinder and cap off the hydraulic lines. Then go in the cab and remove the pin from the bell crank and unbolt the...

Q: I replaced the brake light switch. Gear lever unlocked because it had locked. Now the brakes feel hard.

Hi, thanks for writing in. You need to check the brake switch install adjustment. You may have the switch adjusted too tight and it is holding the the brake pedal partly down. This will cause the brake master cylinder to...

Q: Brakes barely working

Where are you hearing this noise? If it is coming from the tire and wheel area, you may be hearing your brakes making a scrubbing metallic type sound. If so, that would be your brake pads grinding against the rotor...