We all know that brakes are an essential part of the safety system of your vehicle.  They are what allow you to control your speed and allow you to stop, preventing any harm or accident.  That is why it is important to keep your brakes in tip-top shape.  However, since no one wants to be regularly spending money to replace their brake system, it is also important to learn the driving tips and tricks that will make your brake system last.

Watch Your Speed

Your brakes are designed to give the proper amount of force needed to stop your vehicle depending on your current speed.  Because of the way the system is designed, the amount of wear and tear on your brakes increases exponentially as your speed increases.  This means that the force your brakes need to stop your car when it is going 65 mph is actually ONE THIRD more than it needs to use when your car is going 55 mph.  The less force – and the less heat created when applying that force – the less wear on your brakes.

Coast it Up

One way to help your speed is to perfect the art of coasting.  This means releasing your foot from the gas pedal and allowing your car to naturally decrease in speed before applying any pressure to your brake pedal.  Coasting works well when you see a stop ahead (such as at a stoplight or when you are exiting the freeway).  By allowing your speed to decrease without using your brakes, you are decreasing the amount of energy that will eventually be needed by your brakes.  

It is also important to allow adequate space between you and the car in front of you.  If something in front of the other car causes the driver to slam on his or her brakes, you will want enough space to coast for a few seconds rather than slamming on your brakes as well.  While slamming on your brakes may not always be avoided, the wear and tear on your brakes can be minimized by increasing the amount of time you have to slow down.   

Use One Foot

One of the worst things you can do to your brakes is to use them when they’re not needed. This happens the most to people who use both feet to drive – right on the gas, left on the brake.  If you only use your right foot when you drive, you will eliminate the possibility of accidentally pressing both pedals down at the same time.

Lighten Your Load

The more weight your car is carrying, the more pressure is put on your brakes.  While small items may seem inconsequential, together they start to add up. Keep your car free of things like shoes, paper waste, or other little things that might get left in there. It’s also wise to take heavy, unnecessary items out of your car.  Not only will it help save your brakes, but it will also increase your overall gas mileage.

Following these little tips is a great way to help lighten the load on your breaks, and extend their life. If you have more questions about brake repair, please feel free to give the expert mechanics at Master Muffler Clearfield a call today.