Brakes are a very important part of any vehicle. Your brakes will wear out quickly if they are badly fitted or the brakes are constructed of poor quality. This is another reason why we always advocate using genuine manufacturer parts when servicing your car. (Read our other article on "
Benefits of Using Genuine Car Parts".) But there are also some simple things that drivers can do to make their brakes last longer.
Driving at high speeds and braking sharply to slow down will result in more wear on the brakes - often the case when taking corners. It's an obvious calculation, but many drivers simply forget. It has been estimated that braking from 65 miles per hour rather than 55 miles per hour results in a third more energy being dissipated through the brakes. When a driver brakes, the pads of a disk brake system, or the shoes of a drum brake system, convert the motion of the car into heat. This heat causes the friction surfaces of the shoes or pads, otherwise known as linings, to eventually wear out. Hence if a driver "smoothes" out his or her driving, the brakes will wear out at a slower rate, and last longer before their next replacement. Some drivers always drive with their foot resting on the brake. Always use the correct foot for braking to avoid the tendency of pushing both pedals, and brake tapping will also be easier to avoid.
Coasting is another good way of reducing brake wear. Thinking ahead and slowing down before you know you will have to stop, for example when coming off a motorway, will reduce the amount of braking required and thus reduce the wear on the brakes. This also applies to places where you know there are likely to be traffic queues or other drivers are likely to slow down. Thinking ahead may enable you to change lanes without having to brake. It can also help you to prepare for traffic backing up and enable you to correctly time traffic lights.
Do not carry more weight in the car than necessary. A heavier vehicle is also harder on the brakes. Also, the brake fluid should be flushed periodically to prolong the life of the brakes. Brake fluid attracts water and when this builds up it can cause corrosion and reduces brake efficiency. When replacing the brakes on a car, choose a good brand of brake, or better yet use your car manufacturer's own brake parts which were specifically designed. This may be more expensive in the short term but in the longer term cheaper brakes will wear out more quickly. Do not, however, try to extend the life of brakes too much as, if the brake pads wear right down and metal starts to touch on metal, the cost of repairs will be much higher.
For a brake inspection, or to order new brakes on your car, simply contact the Lookers Aftersales team. We have authorised serviced centres throughout the UK, and can help assist with your parts and servicing needs. Call us today for a quote, or click through to find your nearest UK service centre.