To obtain the greatest mileage between brake service, use these excellent driving habits:
1. Prepare ahead of time: Slow down far before the stop sign, traffic signal, or turn, rather than pounding on the brakes shortly before the stop. The engine then takes up a portion of the task, saving brake wear and strain. As soon as you notice brake lights ahead on the highway, take your foot off the throttle pedal.
2. In the mountains, use the correct braking method: Drive in lower ratios if you're going downhill or over a pass on dry pavement. Here's how to do it: When you start down the hill, put your car in the gear that permits you to go at a safe speed. If your automobile accelerates up, use the brakes occasionally with light pressure for about five seconds to maintain the correct pace. You can cool your brake system by balancing engine braking and pumping your brakes. Friction is created when you ride the brakes down a long slope (which creates the stopping power you need). Because your brake pads are in continual contact with the rotor, it generates heat. The more friction and heat you create the more wear on all braking system components — pads, shoes, fluid, brake callipers, rotors or drums, and hoses — increases.
It's also a safety issue: too much heat can cause brake fluid to heat up, producing brake pedal fade just when you need them most. When driving downhill in snowy or sloppy conditions, don't employ this strategy.
If you lose traction, your anti-lock braking system (ABS) with its brake sensors will automatically engage. Only your driving tyres slow the automobile when you utilize your engine to brake by downshifting. (The front two tyres in a front-wheel-drive car, the back tyres in a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, and all tyres in an AWD or 4WD vehicle are your drive tyres.) The ABS will not operate if the drive tyres lose traction and your car begins to slip, and you may lose control.
The ABS is ready to engage if you apply the brakes instead. When you activate the brakes, ABS ensure that all four tyres slow down at the same time. You'll be able to drive in the right direction and avoid fishtailing.
3. Adhere to the "Three-Second Rule": Even if the automobile in front of you is moving, choose a fixed object such as a sign, a structure, or a side road. After that, count to three. If you pass that item before three, you'll need to back up and give yourself extra room.
Do you recall your driver's education class? It was all about maintaining a safe following distance and driving defensively. This driving style is not only the safest, but it is also the easiest on your braking system. Stop-and-go traffic puts a lot of strain on your brakes and shortens the life of your brake pads. You can reduce brake wear by leaving sufficient distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you so that you don't have to brake frequently.