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

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...


Related questions

Q: condor brake shoes

As you may know, the hand brake (emergency brake) is also a drum brake which requires the use of brake shoes instead of brake pads on most modern vehicles. The seals being damaged suggests that there may be some issues...

Q: 04 kia sedona cuts off when i press the brake

Hello, thank you for writing in. You are going to be more concerned with how the vehicle regulates the engine performance when the brakes are applied, rather than the brake system itself. When dealing with something like this, you will...

Q: Will car brakes work with engine off

If your engine stalls for some reason you should use your regular brake pedal with constant pressure without pumping it or you will loose power assist brakes. If you loose brake assist then pedal will be hard to push but...