It’s hard to give one figure to represent brake lifespan — everyone uses them differently. However, most mechanics will tell you to check the brake lining to see when it’s time to swap yours for a new set.
Car brakes start with about 12 millimeters of lining in them. When it’s time to change them, that lining will have been whittled down to 3 to 4 millimeters in depth.
Perhaps you find yourself wearing through your brakes more often than you’d like to. How can you extend the lifespan of your auto brakes? Here are four tips to help you drive safely — and drive smart at the same time.
As you can imagine, speeding isn’t great for your brakes. The faster you’re going, the more likely you are to press hard on your brakes to stop your car. This habit will wear through your brake pads more quickly.
If you reduce your speed — to the speed limit, of course — you can keep your brakes intact for longer.
Coast or Cruise
Try to coast in your car, too, meaning you keep your foot off the gas until you need it. If you coast from stoplight to stoplight, for example, it will take less work for your brakes to stop the car.
Cruise control can also help you to maintain your speed without pressing on the brakes too much. Learn how to use this feature if you haven’t mastered it yet.
Use One Foot
Some people make the mistake of driving with two feet. It seems to make sense to have one foot dedicated to each pedal, but the truth is that this can wreak havoc on your brakes.
That’s because you may slip up and press the gas while your foot is still on the brakes. As such, you’re asking your car to move and stop at the same time. This requires a lot of extra strength from your brakes.
So, your best bet is to learn to drive with one foot. Switching your foot from the gas to brakes ensures that the right signal is being fired, and your brakes are only deployed when you need them.
One of the most unsafe habits that you can have as a driver is letting yourself get distracted on the road. Doing so may mean that you look up just in time to see a hazard — and have to slam on your brakes to avoid it.
Paying attention 100 percent of the time while you’re behind the wheel can remove this possibility. Not only will it save you and your passengers from danger, but it will also extend the lifespan of your brakes.
Use Car Brakes With Care
Your car brakes protect you while you’re on the road, and now you know how to return the favor. Safe driving is the best way to keep your brakes working for as long as possible. It’s also the best way to avoid needing our help.