3 Ways to Increase the Average Life of Car Brakes

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.


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Ryan

22 years of experience
48 reviews
Ryan
22 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe V6-2.7L - Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection - Huntersville, North Carolina
Ryan's honesty and integrity are truly impressive and seldom seen as often as we should. Ryan diagnosed my car issue as being unrelated to an expensive repair that my dealership suggested, and scheduled an appointment to do the much less expensive proper repair
Mercury Mariner - Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection - Charlotte, North Carolina
Ryan gained my trust right from the start, and that is very important to me when dealing with car maintenance, since I know very little. He spoke to me in a way that helped me understand the problem(s) with my vehicle without being condescending. I have two vehicles that need servicing, and I will be requesting Ryan for all future services on my vehicles. At my previous residence, I had an auto mechanic nearby who I trusted, and I had not found that yet at my new residence. I am grateful that I found Ryan, someone I can trust to honestly give me the right advice and education about maintaining and servicing my vehicles. He is TOP NOTCH!

Luis

4 years of experience
124 reviews
Luis
4 years of experience
Volkswagen Beetle L4-1.9L Turbo Diesel - Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection - Chesterfield, Virginia
Took the time to show me the parts that he had removed and the level that they were at. Took the car for a test drive and found an issue that my wife has been dealing with for a long time in regards to her brakes. The brake booster wire was frayed and needed to be replace. No wasted motion in his steps in replacing the brakes and rotors. I will definitely want him to do the work on my other vehicles in the future.

Corey

17 years of experience
332 reviews
Corey
17 years of experience
Subaru B9 Tribeca H6-3.0L - Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection - Charlotte, North Carolina
Corey did a awesome job! Great experience. Will continue to book with Corey for all my future car needs.

Travis

13 years of experience
579 reviews
Travis
13 years of experience
Chevrolet Trailblazer L6-4.2L - Brakes, Steering and Suspension Inspection - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis shows up early and quickly got to work after introducing himself. We were chatting through his inspection and he was able to reschedule with me for next week. This process been a hassle free and Travis explained everything to me in detail. Great work look forward to getting my service done next week.

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