7 Habits that are ruining your car's brakes

Here's how to keep them from failing
by Joey Bernardez | Feb 26, 2018

Brakes can be made to last an awfully long time, but you can also wear them out in short order. Here are some things that you should avoid doing to maximize the longevity of your brakes:

1) Going too fast

Driving too fast then suddenly slowing your car down requires the brakes to dissipate more energy and use more pad material. Try to lay off the accelerator if you can.

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2) Left foot braking

There are drivers who tend to use their left foot to step on the brake pedal. Sometimes they forget that they have their left foot on the brake, and simultaneously step on the accelerator with their right foot. Unless you're a race car driver trying to gather turbo boost, the right foot should be used for operating both the accelerator and brake pedal.

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3) Not coasting

Some people feel as if they need to be either stepping on the brakes or the accelerator while they're driving. But there are many times that you can opt to use neither pedal. Just anticipate stops and allow the car to coast and slow down via road friction and wind resistance. Coasting is when you let go of the accelerator without stepping on the brakes and allow the car to continue using built-up momentum or inertia to move forward. This also allows it to slow down on its own. By doing this, you're saving brake pad friction material.

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4) Not looking far enough

Always look far enough ahead to allow you to plan your moves. Doing so means you're looking several cars ahead, letting you anticipate when to use your brakes most effectively.

5) Braking too soon

There's a tendency to step on the brakes when you see the taillights of the car ahead of you light up. But really, if you’re far enough you can just let go of the accelerator and not step on your brakes unless you really need to.

6) Keeping junk in the car

The more a car weighs, the harder the brakes have to work and the more pad material is expended. Try keeping the junk in your car to a minimum so as to not have the car weigh any more than it has to. And maybe it's time to go easy on the extra rice.

7) Not changing brake fluid regularly

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Not changing brake fluid regularly can cause damage on the brake lines. Old brake fluid attracts moisture, which can cause the master cylinder, brake lines, and pistons to corrode. This deterioration can wear down the seals, and if these leak you will have reduced, if not completely lost, braking power. Try to change brake fluid at least once a year.


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