Did you know that your behaviour directly affects the length of your brakes? Most vehicles travel between 32,000 and 112,000 kilometres before requiring brake replacement, which can be caused by a variety of factors and varies from vehicle to vehicle.
If you live in a city like Lagos, where there is a lot of stop-and-go traffic, you’ll use your brakes a lot more than someone who lives in a rural area with little traffic.
Another thing that will affect how long your brakes last is the quality of your brake pads. The better the quality of your brake pads, the longer they will last.
Some factors might be completely out of your control but making a few adjustments in your driving habits and style will do two things – it will make you a safer driver and also help your brakes last longer. Let’s get right to it.
Please take one step at a time
You’ve also seen a car speed up when its brake lights are turned on. This occurs when a driver pushes the brake pedal with his or her right foot while simultaneously pressing the gas pedal.
Some drivers mistakenly assume that pressing down both the accelerator and the brake with both feet would increase the car’s reaction time. Regrettably, this is not a healthy action to take. Instead, you risk placing light and constant pressure on your car’s brake while you drive. Brake riding is the technical term for this.
If you continue to do this when driving, the brake pads will wear out and the rotors will warp. Instead, hold your left foot on the ground and push and brake with your right foot alone.
Defeat the Need to Be a Speed Demon
We understand that applying the brakes when driving at high speeds is the last thing you want to do. However, the faster you drive, the more energy and brake material your car’s braking system would take to stop the vehicle.
To avoid being rushed, car experts suggest that you stay under the posted speed limit and leave early for your destination. When you’re in a hurry, it’s normal to want to drive faster.
Engine Braking should be considered
Engine braking is the method of gradually slowing down the car by moving down through the gears.
This technique works best in cars with manual transmissions, but it can also be used in automatic transmission cars. You will help your vehicle decelerate when giving your brakes a rest by progressively moving into a lower gear.
When driving down a long steep slope, it can be tempting to apply the brakes, but this is not a good idea. Instead of slamming the brake pedal all the way down, try ‘engine braking’ and let the engine do the job.
NOTE: When ‘engine braking,’ you must exercise caution. Shifting at a high rate or downshifting to a low gear will damage your car’s engine and transmission.
Watch out for the weight of your car
It does not suit most drivers when other drivers dot (drive too closely behind another vehicle). Your breaks don’t like it either because you end up pressing the brake pedal much harder and more often than you normally should when driving too close to the car in front of you. This ends up leading your brakes to wear and tear.
Make sure there is enough space right in front of you between your car and your car. Without wearing your brakes, it is easier to drive behind your car before you.
You should increase the car-to-car distance when driving at night, to lower the risk of being taken unconscious.
Make Sure The Brake Fluid Is Flushed
It is not necessary to flush your brake fluid on a regular basis. Brake fluid should be flushed every two years or every 40,000 kilometres, according to industry guidelines.
Because of the way the braking mechanism operates, it’s important to flush your brake fluid. Brake fluid attracts water by nature, lowering the boiling point of the fluid. As a result, the car’s braking efficiency suffers.
Another explanation is that the extra moisture induces internal corrosion, which contributes to complete rot of the vehicle’s braking system.
Stop coasting while driving, which is described as driving a car downhill with the clutch depressed or the gear stick in neutral – or both at the same time. This causes the wheels to be disconnected from the engine, making engine braking (slowing down with gears) impossible.
While this can save you some money on petrol, it does significant damage to your vehicle’s brakes.