Making changes to the way you drive can spell a significant reduction in the need for repairs and replacements, especially when it comes to the brakes. Healthier brakes let you enjoy better control over how the vehicle responds, keeping you safer on the road and less prone to lose your composure while driving. Casually allowing your brake pads to wear out, on the other hand, can saddle you with more than a few bucks worth of expense on replacement. Moreover, the longer you put this off, the higher the chances of other components breaking down as well, and before long this would make the car unsafe to operate.
Luckily, the following measures can help you protect the brakes and make sure you get plenty of use out of them.
- In the long run, this the most important thing to be doing or at least attempting: Give yourself ample time to stop. That means tailgating is not an option. This practice invites the need to slam down hard on the brakes, which when done enough times, can start wearing down your brake pads.
- Plan your route in advance, so you do not end up making improvised turns that require hard-hitting the brakes. Watch for obstacles that are far-off, and slow down as you approach them. Additionally, be watchful of drivers cutting into your lane, stoplights, animals on the roadside, etc.
- When moving in traffic, leave space in front of you every time that you get a chance. That means you should not habitually move whenever a few inches open up.
- Clear out heavy items from the car, and keep the vehicle uncluttered. The more weight you lug around, the more the pressure that builds when you hit the brakes. This can wear down the brake components a lot faster.
- At the first sign you see of trouble with the brakes, take the car to a repair shop and get it checked. It may be that you need one of the components replaced; if so, do not skimp. The sooner you get that out of the way, the sooner you would be able to drive the car without the same safety risks.
Auto shops typically have expert mechanics that can inspect your brakes to make sure they are functional, and tell you what repairs or replacements are needed. Heeding them early on can mean avoiding disaster, as well as significant expense over the long run.