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Brake job being conducted by mechanic at Westbury Toyota on Long Island, NY.

Five Tips to Extend the Useful Life of Your Brakes

Posted at Fri, Jul 9, 2021 9:00 AM

Anyone who drives regularly will probably encounter issues with the brakes at some point in time. The two sounds most commonly associated with brake problems are squeaking and grinding, and once you start hearing those it is likely an indicator you need to get your brakes looked at. One of the most common issues with the brakes is the wear and tear of all the different parts, but you can extend the longevity of these parts by following a few helpful tips our Westbury Toyota staff have put together.

Try to Avoid Start and Stop Traffic Flow

Anyone who does a daily commute at peak traffic hours is going to be familiar with start and stop traffic. Constantly using your brakes takes a toll as the friction will wear down your brake pads far quicker than when you are driving in regular flow. If you are concerned about how much you are using your brakes during your commute, it might be worthwhile to plan another route to and from work as well as the places you go to regularly such as your children’s school or your relatives' houses. When choosing an alternate route, look for one that lacks a lot of intersections or traffic lights. Freeways, highways, and roads that have a constantly moving flow of traffic are the most desirable.

Obey the Three Second Rule

The three second rule can take some of the pressure off your brakes whenever you have to slow down or come to a halt. The three second rule consists of this:

  • Choose any stationary object (building, sign, other kind of landmark) that is even with the vehicle that is in front of you.
  • Count to three.
  • If you pass by the object you chose before you get to three, you need to slow down and leave more space between you and the other vehicle.

This tip is an important part of defensive driving as it allows for a safe following distance. Not only is it safe and recommended, it will also be easier on your brakes.

Reduce Any Excess Weight in Your Vehicle

A simple tip to follow in order to increase the lifespan of your brakes is to eliminate any unnecessary weight that might be riding in your vehicle. This is because the more your car or truck weighs, the more friction is applied to the brake pads whenever you are decelerating or stopping. To rectify this, be sure to remove anything that does not need to be in your vehicle. You can also choose lightweight options for some parts of your Toyota such as tires and rims, and you can opt for polycarbonate windows if you ever need to replace your windshield or rear window.

Be Sure to Plan Ahead

Stomping on the brakes puts unnecessary wear on your brakes, so instead it is a good idea to plan ahead while you are driving. What this means is that you should always be paying attention to the road situation so that you have ample time to gradually slow down. Of course, this does not apply in case of emergency, but making the effort to change your braking habits can be beneficial to the lifespan of your brakes.

Regularly Flush Your Brake Fluid

Like all the other important fluids in your car, brake fluid can become less effective over time. Once that happens, it can have a negative impact on your wheel cylinders and brake calipers, eventually leading to failure if left unattended. You can prevent this from happening by having your brake fluid flushed and replaced regularly. This will contribute to the longevity of your brakes but can also increase their effectiveness.

Extend Your Brake Longevity

Getting your brakes repaired can be expensive and inconvenient, which is why you do not want to have to do it more often than is absolutely necessary. By practicing the tips above, you can extend the lifespan of your brakes which means you are also saving yourself time and money.

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