Three Active Ways To Make Your Brake Pads Last Longer

Getting your brake pads replaced isn't the most expensive part of car maintenance, but it can easily start to add up if you aren't getting the most out of your brake pads. When installed, used, and maintained correctly, you may get thousands of more miles out of your brake pads and even spare some wear and tear on the rest of your brake system. Here are three ways you can take care of your brake pads and make sure they last a long time.

Use The Right Material

There are three different types of brake pads, and which one you should use depends on your driving style. The most common is organic, but you can also use ceramic or metallic. The reason it's important to get brake pads in the material that suits your driving style best is that it's how you'll get the most use out of the pads for your money. For example, if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving or commuting, you may be better off with ceramic pads, which are more durable and can take more stress. If you don't drive often, you might benefit most from organic pads, which need to be replaced more often but are also less expensive.

Next time you get your brake pads replaced, ask your mechanic which pads you should use based on your vehicle and your driving style. Switching pads could make a big difference.

Take Extra Care In Extreme Weather

It's rare for poor weather to have a direct impact on your brake pads, but they can still have a few indirect effects. For example, when roads and tires become wet and slippery, the average stopping distance goes up, which can mean extra brake use if you don't drive more cautiously or slowly to compensate for the weather.

Another way adverse weather conditions can hurt your brake system is when any moisture or debris that has made its way into your brake pads -- and other components -- freezes during cold weather. Frozen debris can damage both your pads and rotors, so during cold and wet weather take extra care to make sure your brake pads are clean and dry.

Engage In More Passive Driving

One of the best ways to make your brake pads last longer is to simply change the way you drive. Simply put, the more pressure you apply to your brakes, the faster they get worn down. You can make your brakes last longer by decreasing this pressure and by applying your brakes less often. Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Drive more slowly. This helps in multiple ways. If you drive slower, you'll find you need to apply the brakes less often as you deal with traffic. Coming to a stop from slower speeds also takes less pressure and brake time.
  • Leave more space between you and the cars in front of you. If a car ahead of you brakes a little, you'll be far enough away that you need only let your foot off the gas rather than applying the brake yourself. A safe place to start is the two-second rule, though if you have a little more space, that's even better.
  • Start coasting. Rather than waiting until you're close to a light or freeway exit to start slowing down, let your foot off the gas a little earlier. For example, coasting about half a mile to a freeway exit can mean you'll start applying the brakes at 40 miles per hour rather than 60, Over the life of your brake pads, this can make a tremendous difference.

For more information on taking care of your brakes, contact a repair shop like Heritage Auto Pro.