Making Brake Pads Last Longer

By: The Auto Guy Email
By: The Auto Guy Email

Getting your brake pads to last longer can save you some big bucks. Here are a few tips on how you can make that happen.

In order to understand how to get the brake pads to last longer, you really need to have a general understanding of how the brakes work. The wheel is mounted to what’s called a rotor and that rotor spins around with the wheel as you go down the road. When you apply the brakes, the brake pads squeeze together on the rotor, creating a lot of friction. That friction slows the vehicle down, but also wears the brake pads out over time.

When the pads get completely worn down, they have to be replaced. The amount of miles you get out of your brake pads depends on how hard you are on them when you are driving, so let’s take a look at your driving habits to see how you can extend the life of your brake pads.

First of all, don’t “two foot” the pedals when you are driving. That’s when you have your right foot on the gas and the left foot on the brake. Even if you barely rest your left foot on the brake pedal, it can be applying light pressure to the brake pads all the time, wearing them down. If you have your left foot on the brake pedal because you are nervous about having time to apply the brakes, you might be tailgating too much. Give plenty of room to the vehicle ahead and please get that left foot off the pedal.

If you are a driver with a Type A personality, this tip is going to drive you CRAZY! But if you want the brake pads to last a lot longer, you have to avoid accelerating hard at green lights and braking hard at red lights.

Stay with the flow of traffic and pay attention to stop lights up ahead. If the light is turning red off in the distance, let off the gas and coast as much as you can. When you are driving fast and slamming on the brakes all of the time, you are going to wear those pads out in no time.

When it comes time to replace your brake pads, choosing the right type of pad can make them last longer. A high quality pad might cost a little more, but it can save you additional labor costs in the future because you won’t need to change them as often.

Finally, make sure that your pads are replaced by a person that knows what they are doing. There are slides that need to be lubed and hardware that needs to be replaced to keep the pads wearing evenly over time. Having those components moving in and out like they should every time you press on the brake pedal will make the pads wear evenly and last a lot longer.

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