Making Your Brakes Last
May 28, 2011
You have surely heard the sound of it before, the screeching noise of brakes about to go bad. When pulling up to a red light also entails covering your ears, then it is probably high time you get a new set of brake pads. Should the problem go on for too long, you may be in for some new rotors—and a hefty bill—as well. Of course brakes do not last forever, but how can you make them last as long as possible to keep your budget in check and your car out of the shop?
Many people do not realize that the way in which they drive can have a huge affect on the lifespan of their car's many pieces and parts. The same is true with brakes. By following these tips, you can keep your brakes going longer and keep your mechanic bills to a minimum:
• Try not to ride the brakes. This wears them down more quickly—resulting in more frequent brake jobs and a less fruitful bank account. Instead, stop accelerating long before you get to the stop light or stop sign and let your car naturally lose speed. Of course you will have to use the brakes, but only when you approach the stop. This will also save you on gas, as you will use less during the approach and, consequentially, spend less at the pump.
• If possible, do not slam on your breaks. Though emergency stops happen, try not to leave the braking until the last minute if you can help it. This is hard on your brake pads, your rotors, and really your entire car. Finding a happy medium between stomping the breaks and constantly pressing them is all a matter of trial and error. The key is to find a balance between being a safe driver and being a frugal one.
• When washing your car, don't forget the brakes! Brake dust gets all over your hubcaps or rims, so just imagine what it's doing to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Of course you do not have to crawl under your vehicle with a scrub brush, but do try to rinse the wheel well and other visible parts of the car with the hose.
• Cheaper is not always better. The old saying "you get what you pay for" certainly applies in the automobile industry. Installing cheap brake pads will only ensure that you have to come back for a new set sooner. Of course, the most expensive products are not necessarily the best, but do make sure that you invest in your brakes by purchasing the most reliable brand. This may cost more up front, but it will keep your car out of the shop longer.
Saving money is important in today's economy, but there are some ways for you to shave expenses from your vehicle maintenance costs. Practicing good driving habits that lengthen the lifespan of your car's brakes, and other parts, will help you maintain both safe driving practices and a workable budget.
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