Brake Check! Driving Tips to Conserve Your Brakes & Brake Pads

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Did you actually need brakes? Simply, yes you do and do they need to serviced and inspected regularly? Well that would be a yes also! If you have braking problems on your vehicle you may seriously hurt yourself or someone else or even worse be fatally injured if you can’t stop in a timely fashion. So, why do they need servicing? Because they are used all the time but you can prolong the life of them easily with a few simple tricks!

            First off slow down! You aren’t getting anywhere any faster by racing around like Ricky Bobby and you are having to use your brakes more frequently and with more force thus wearing down the pad material faster, warping your rotors along with cracking the rotors and pads. Also while braking heavily you are wearing your tires down quicker also.

            Secondly, what is happening two traffic lights ahead of you or two miles down the road? You should be looking much further ahead in traffic to see what is happening. Is there a red light or traffic ahead that you could coast up to without having to use your brakes? This will save you your brakes, tires and gas. Watch and laugh as all the speed racers blow by you and make it to the traffic light first and then wave to them as your coast past them anticipating the light to change!

            Lastly, use your gears. When you are driving down mountain passes, steep elongated sections of road or in town is it wise to downshift. This is to keep you from riding your brakes, and overheating your pads and rotors which causes them to warp. Shaking in your steering wheel and pulsating in your brake pedal while braking is a strong indicator of warped rotors from excessive heat. Downshifting at a reasonable rpm is a safe way to save your brakes. You can do this in a manual transmission and with most automatic transmissions.

            Over one hundred thousand miles is the longest I have ever seen a single set of front and rear original brake pads go and they are still going and look nearly new. My grandpa Bob has a Toyota Camry with these mystical brakes and I’m not convinced he ever uses the brakes. He downshifts, coasts and drives really slow but hey he hasn’t ever had to change his brakes and he is the original owner. Just remember to use some of these tips and you can save your brake pads too!

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