Although it can take a long time before your brakes need to be replaced, it's unfortunately possible to shorten the life of your brakes through certain driving strategies. The good news is that the reverse can also be true – by taking care to drive in a certain manner, you can actually help your brakes live a longer life. Whether you're looking to get a little more life out of your current set of brakes or you're pledging to keep your next set for as long as possible, here are three steps you can take.
Stay Away From Tailgating
Many drivers fall into the bad habit of tailgating, but a short distance between your front bumper and the other motorist's rear bumper can unnecessarily wear out your brakes. The problem with tailgating is that you'll often need to constantly tap your brake to maintain your distance. And, if the driver ahead of you has the habit of riding the brake pedal, you'll begin to find yourself doing the same thing. The result will be wear to your brakes that is largely avoidable. Although you'll find yourself close behind motorists in heavy traffic, try to avoid tailgating whenever there's room to increase your following interval.
Avoid Busy Areas
Driving in busy areas of your city won't just increase your travel time – it will also shorten your brake life. Heavy traffic means that you're constantly hitting your brakes as other motorists slow down in front of you. When you're stopped at a red light several cars back, you'll be inching forward, tapping your brakes and then repeating this back-and-forth process. All of these elements combine to cut down on the longevity of your brake pads. While it's often a challenge to avoid busy roads every time that you're out, scheduling your outings to avoid peak traffic times and busy areas can help your brakes last longer.
Coast When You Can
Provided the traffic and road conditions are safe, it's effective to coast as a method of slowing down your speed instead of hitting your brakes. This strategy goes hand-in-hand with keeping an eye out for what's happening farther down the road. For example, when you see that a light is about to turn red, you can slow your speed gradually by coasting instead of approaching the intersection and slamming on your brakes.
To learn more, contact an auto shop near you.