A vehicle is like the human body; each of its parts needs to be well maintained and synchronized to perform its function perfectly. Car brakes are perhaps the most significant of the car parts when it comes to driving safety. They have to be in perfect condition to ensure that every car trip is safe for you and your family. Unruly roads, irritating pedestrian, countless traffic signals and repetitive potholes……all these are what your car brakes encounter on every trip out. They have to be used repeatedly to slow down and prevent mishaps. No wonder, brakes get worn out every now and then.
Before delving deeper into brake maintenance, it is important to understand how they work and what causes wear and tear. Pressing the brake pedal causes the vehicle to slow down because of the pads rubbing against the brake disc. When you apply brakes very frequently, the process happens repeatedly, which exposes the brake pads to severe friction and leads to their degeneration over a period of time. The phenomenon is not avoidable though it can be slowed down with optimal driving habits and regular maintenance. Here are some maintenance tips to keep your car brakes in a great condition:
- Exercise intuitive driving
Cultivating good driving habits is the most effective maintenance tip for all the parts of your car, including the brakes. If you are traveling on a familiar road, align your driving according to it so that you can avoid slamming the brakes. On the other hand, you need to observe well and drive intuitively on unknown roads. For instance, if there is a red light ahead, you can slow down the speed so that there is no need to hit the brake suddenly when you reach the signal. This is a habit you can cultivate with practice and it helps you drive better and safer, in addition to caring for your car brakes. Also, bear in mind that braking reaction time is affected by multiple elements such as the road, the vehicle condition and the vehicle.
- Drive at moderate speed
Unless you have a good reason for driving fast, make it a habit to drive at a moderate speed. Driving at high speeds and then breaking suddenly time and again damages the brakes as they tend to wear out due to excessive friction. The higher the speed, the more is the friction and the more damage is caused. Therefore, you must make it a habit to drive at moderate speeds as well as keep it constant so that the brakes are used to a minimum extent.
- Go for progressive braking
Another important tip to prolong the life of your car brakes is to opt for progressive braking. Progressive braking means that you start by applying gentle pressure on the brake and then increase it progressively. On the other hand, reduce the pressure gradually as you release the brake. This habit not only increases the lifespan of the brake components but also ensures the comfort and safety of the car occupants. You can also minimize the wear and tear of the tires and suspension by going easy on braking. Progressive braking becomes all the more important of the car does not have ABS.
- Avoid overheating of brakes: Overheating of brakes is the most prevalent cause of damage. This mostly happens when you drive downhill for prolonged period of time. Not only does it leads to overheating of the car brakes but also reduces their effectiveness, which can be dangerous for the occupants. You can prevent this by using gears to manage the speed or halting periodically to allow cooling.
- Get regular service checks: The most important tip to maintain your car brakes in the best condition is to keep the vehicle well-maintained by getting regular service checks. They should be in a great shape at all the times and anything that seems amiss should be handled sooner rather than later. On the other hand, routine check-up is recommended at a periodic basis even if the brakes are in an optimal condition. Also, ensure regular checks for the brake fluid levels. Brake bleeding is needed if they are spongy. Measurement of rear and front brake pad wear is needed to check if they are worn out beyond the permissible limits. Another parameter to be checked is vacuum hose, which may be cracked or leaking. Any damage is to be handled by replacing the hose.
Besides maintaining the vehicle brakes on your own, you should seek expert assistance through an authorized service provider. It is important to ensure that they are always in a great condition because the car’s performance and safety depends on them.