7 Maintenance Tips for Reducing Brake Wear-and-Tear

Brakes are the single most key component in your vehicle when it comes to ensuring safe driving. Without them, you would have no way of slowing or decelerating to a halt, leaving you in a pretty precarious position should you encounter pedestrians, other vehicles, or pretty much anything other than an airy, open road.

However, despite their importance, many of us don’t know how to brake properly and take them for granted and develop driving habits that contribute to aggressive break wear and needing frequent brake tune-ups. Further compounding the issue is the fact that many of us then neglect brake tune-ups since they may not strike us as urgent, which cause us to drive around with brakes that aren’t performing at their best. 

If you’re looking to put a stop to your bad driving habits, increase the lifespan of your brakes, and minimize car maintenance costs, check out our list of seven brake maintenance tips below! Implementing safer driving habits is easier than you may think. 

1. Slow down 

The faster you’re driving, the harder your brakes need to work to slow or stop your car. Over time, this can wreak havoc on your brakes, thinning the pads faster than normal. Instead of counting on steep decelerations, reduce general driving speeds so that when you do have to slow or stop, your brakes don’t have to work as hard. 

2. Avoid harsh braking 

Abrupt, sharp braking is another cause of unnecessarily speedy brake wearing. Avoid sudden stops as often as possible by anticipating ahead of time when you’ll need to stop (like at a stop sign or a red light) to increase your brakes’ lifespan. 

3. Stop frequent braking 

Frequent braking typically occurs in stop-and-go traffic and will absolutely accelerate wear and tear on your brakes. If you’re in a traffic jam and the car ahead of you moves only a foot or two, it may not do you any good to release your foot off the brake just to also move up a couple of feet. Instead, you may be better off waiting until there’s more significant movement from the car ahead of you to proceed forward. 

4. Coast when possible 

One of the easier ways to reduce wear and tear on your brakes is to utilize coasting. If there’s a sea of open road with few or no cars in the vicinity, you can set your car to coast. As always, be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times, and brake when necessary. 

5. Consider your load

Are you lugging around heavy objects in your backseat or trunk? Doing so can not only cause slower acceleration for your vehicle, it can also decrease your brakes’ lifespan due to the fact that your brakes must work harder to slow a heavier force—i.e. your car—to a halt. Only transport heavier objects in your car if you deem them necessary. 

6. Replace brake fluids 

Brake fluids need to be flushed periodically to make the internal components of your brakes last longer, and for your brakes to operate better overall. Check your owner’s manual to see if the manufacturer has a recommends for how often to replace your brake fluid. If not, check in with a trusted mechanic for their recommendation. 

7. Check your brakes 

None of the other six points matter if you don’t regularly get your brakes checked. Doing so should be part of your routine maintenance schedule. As a good rule of thumb, you should have your car serviced by a certified technician every 1 year or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first. Even if you practice proper braking habits, you should still be on the lookout for these 5 signs that may mean you need new brakes 

No matter how great your driving is, unexpected brake issues will inevitably pop up from time to time. By following these brake maintenance tips these unexpected issues will be less frequent. If you want to make sure you don’t get caught off guard by unexpected breakdown or replacement costs, explore Toco’s Vehicle Service Contracts and Plan Benefits.