As a driver, you know some parts wear out sooner than others. You have to get an oil change every few thousand miles. Tires need to be replaced when they start to wear down. And brakes, they’re important too.
Yet things are expensive these days. Money only stretches so far. If you’ve ever put off a maintenance item because something else takes precedence, you’ve pushed the limits of stretching the workability of a part.
Brakes are an integral part of every car. Imagine sailing down I-70 without brakes. That would be more than a thrill ride as you try to keep control around every corner. But it doesn’t take a steep hill to throw you into a dangerous situation. Even approaching a stoplight in town can be a scary situation if you tap on the brake pedal and nothing happens.
Having an efficient braking system will ensure your safety in every situation. How do you balance that with the desire to make your brakes last as long as possible?
First, realize your braking system is only designed to last for so long. It will wear out over time. While you often hear brake pads are the first to go, it isn’t always the case. The brake system is made up of many different parts, and depending on how it wears down, a variety of things can go wrong over time.
Overall, brakes will start to lose their effectiveness around 25,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for more information, as your manufacturer has guidelines for every system they build.
You can’t make your brakes last forever, but there are things you can do to extend their life. Here’s what you can do.
There are two types of drivers: offensive and defensive. When you slow down, stop being in a rush to get from place to place, you tend not to put as much stress on your vehicle. You can watch the traffic around you and assess what’s happening before you get into situations that require quick decisions. You can drive without putting excessive strain on your brake system.
Stomping on the brakes is never a good thing. It requires reflexive decisions, and makes you more likely to spin out of control. Leave space between you and the car in front of you no matter if you’re on a drive into the mountains, or are heading to the grocery store in your own neighborhood. This allows you to brake softly, putting less strain on your entire braking system.
It’s also important to use your brakes fully engaged. Have you ever stopped at a light, and pulled up on the brakes allowing the wheels to inch forward? That’s known as wheel creep, which also increases wear on the braking system. Are you a two-footed driver? Do you keep one actively on the gas pedal while the other is on the brakes? That also puts excessive wear on the brake system. Use the brakes as intended, and they will last longer and provide more service for as long as you own your vehicle.
Keeping your vehicle well maintained
When was the last time you washed your car? When was the last time you cleaned it thoroughly, inside and out? Are there boxes and bags of things in your trunk? Do you carry around excess weight that’s only adding to the heaviness of your car? Take out the sports equipment, the home maintenance projects, and the boxes left over from school. If it doesn’t belong in your vehicle for day to day travel, take it out.
That’s because a heavier vehicle takes more braking power to control. Every vehicle was designed with specific guidelines in place. Manufacturers created the brake system to fully control the vehicle and the passengers it carries. When you start adding in ski equipment, a toolbox, parts from the hardware store – items that can add tens, if not hundreds of pounds of extra weight – it adds strain on the movement of the vehicle.
It’s not just your brakes that will thank you. Excessive weight also strains tires and gas mileage too, making you spend more every day you drive your car.
Brake system flush
When you press down on the brake pedal, it’s the job of brake fluid to allow your braking system to fully function. Brake fluid moves through the braking line, which causes the brake pads to compress against the rotors, which slows and stops your car.
Like other fluids that flow through your car to make it operate efficiently, brake fluid will only last for so long. Eventually, it wears down, dirt, air, particles, and other contaminants infiltrate the fluid, and make it sluggish as it moves through the system. Ever tap on the brake pedal and have it feel spongy, non-responsive? That could be contaminated brake fluid in the line.
A brake system flush rids the line of fluid and moisture and replaces it with clean brake fluid. A flush ensures you’ll have optimal performance from your braking system overall. It keeps all components of the brake system working their best. While the industry average is right around 25,000 miles, it’s dependent on the make and model of your vehicle. Not sure? We have access to all vehicle guidelines and can help determine the right maintenance schedule for your vehicle.
As a car owner, you know certain aspects of car maintenance are important. You fill it up with gas regularly. You replace the tires. You get an oil change every 3,000 miles.
While it might seem like a good way to save money, coupon shopping will not help you properly maintain your car. When you find coupons for every maintenance item you need completed, chances are you’re stretching out the timeframe of when it’s best to make changes to your vehicle. You notice a problem, and look for the best way to save money. You ignore the problem until it’s too big to ignore.
By using a service station regularly for all of your vehicle’s needs, it’s similar to going to the same doctor for your wellness checkups, so they understand what to watch for and what to suggest. A mechanic gets to know your vehicle, makes notes of what to watch for, and can make suggestions to increase the longevity of each system within your vehicle.
There are often problems only a practiced eye will notice. We work with different vehicles every day, and have the knowledge and skill to help you make the most of every part, every system within your car.