Your vehicle's brakes give you control on the road. We don’t need to tell you that it can be dangerous and expensive if your brakes fail. But, there is a lot you can do to prevent a costly brake repair. Here are five tips for taking care of your brakes.
1. Be Aware of the Road
Being a good driver can keep your brakes in good condition. Here's a tip from driving instructors: look up and scan the horizon while driving rather than focusing on the vehicle in front of you. This helps you navigate the road by seeing what's ahead of you. Being aware of the road can prevent you from slamming on the brakes, which puts unnecessary wear and tear on them.
There's a lot to attend to on the road. Pay attention to stop signs, traffic lights, and curves so you adjust your driving in time. You can also take lessons to feel more confident as a driver. Aceable offers online driver’s education courses that teach you how to drive safely.
2. Give Other Cars Space
Did you know you don't have to be hard on your brakes for them to work? If you drive slower, there is less of a chance you'll have to slam hard on your brakes. Using your brakes when you're going fast leads to your brakes wearing out faster.
A useful tip is to keep some distance between you and cars ahead of you. The extra distance gives you time to react so you can come to a slower stop instead of working your brakes so hard.
3. Look for Signs Your Brakes Need Help
Use your sense of touch and hearing to determine whether your brakes are in good shape or not. First, you can get a sense of your brakes by feel. Ask yourself how responsive the brake is when you slow down or stop. Perhaps your brakes feel loose and you have to push harder to stop. Or maybe they are overly sensitive.
You can also use your ears to assess a possible brake problem. If your brakes are squealing or screeching, it's probably time to go to the mechanic to check the brake pads. The pads are what touches the rotor to slow or stop your car. It is perfectly normal for brake pads to wear down.
4. Take Brake Maintenance Seriously
There are some simple and relatively inexpensive things to do to care for your brakes. First, check your brake fluid regularly to make sure there isn't a leak. Don't know how? A mechanic can quickly check your brake fluid to make sure the levels are safe. Brake fluid does need to be replaced, although the time period varies. The manual that came with your car or your dealer can tell you when it's time for a fluid replacement.
Second, ask a mechanic to check your brakes during an inspection. State car inspections include brake safety tests, so you should receive information on the use and life of your brakes. Brakes are crucially important to your safety, so you may need to pay for repairs if your brakes don't pass inspection.
5. Lighten the Load
Your brakes have an extra burden when your car is hauling extra cargo. That is because it takes longer to stop in a heavier car. Over repeated braking, your brakes may wear out faster.
When shopping for a new car, you might want to consider the weight of the vehicle. A heavy car is harder to stop. That can mean that you are wearing down your brakes every time you need to stop.
Another thing to think about is whether you should use your car for towing or hauling. Think about how much cargo you are adding whenever you drive. A lighter load is easier on your brakes. If you want your vehicle to transport heavy cargo, perhaps have a mechanic check the brakes.
Knowing Your Car Makes Driving Safer and More Fun
Now that you know more about your car's brakes, you might feel more at ease on the road. You might even have more fun while you drive. Would you like to learn more about driving or caring for your car? Aceable offers online driver’s education courses that teach you how to drive safely.