Rock Talk

Silencing the Screech: Tips To Make Brakes Last Longer

Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:41 pm

Isn’t it amazing that your foot is capable of bringing a 4,000-pound machine to a stop? Your brakes may not be the most glamorous parts of your car, but we here at Plymouth Rock Assurance feel they are definitely worthy of discussion.

Obviously, regular maintenance and replacement of worn brake parts is extremely important for your safety, the safety of your passengers, and the safety of drivers around you. But did you know that your driving habits can significantly impact the life of your brakes?

Check out these tips to help you save money on brakes, keep you safe behind the wheel, and prevent that dreaded high-pitch screech that makes your neighbors cringe when you park in your driveway:

  • Slow down. No secret here, right? Well, if you needed any affirmation that taking it easy on your brakes will help you get the most out of them, this is it. According to Edmunds.com, braking from 65 mph rather than 55 mph dissipates about a third more energy. A smart way to reduce your speed before braking is to coast before a ramp, a normally backed-up area you are familiar with (not many of those in Jersey, right?), a traffic light, or stop sign.
  • Find your match. There are many types of brake parts available. You shouldn’t expect bargain parts to last a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean high-performance parts are your best bet. For example, drilled rotors make sense for race cars because of increased ventilation and bite— everyday use will likely cause the rotors to fracture. Talk to a trusted mechanic to find the right balance of price, durability, and performance for your needs.
  • Travel light. It would be unusual for you to regularly transport cargo inside your car with enough weight to actually affect the life of your brakes, but think about the weight of your car itself. Some tires, wheels, and other aftermarket parts can add considerable and constant weight, which can be hard on your brakes.
  • Keep that left foot away. Besides the potential for unknowingly applying slight pressure on the brake pedal, using only your right foot to brake is generally safer for everyday driving. Plus, switching between an automatic and manual transmission is easier if you don’t need to retrain your left foot to operate the clutch instead of the brake.

Do you have any additional tips to extend brake life? Let us hear them in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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