If you feel like you are replacing your brakes more often than others or have additional repairs above and beyond just brake pads, stop blaming your car. Chances are you have adopted some bad habits along the way that are actually causing your brakes to wear down or suffer further damage. Here are four bad driving habits that can damage your brakes over time.
1. Unnecessary Speeding
While you might not associate how fast you drive with your brakes, needing to stop from high speeds can wear these down quickly. Stopping from high speeds can heat up your braking system and will eventually wear down the amount of friction needed for brakes to work effectively. Slow down on the highways by even five or ten miles per hour to give your brakes a little leeway when you need to brake.
2. Tailgating Other Cars
If you have adopted a driving style that is assertive and might also keep a short distance between you the car in front of you, these factors can cause your brakes to wear out in no time. You will have less reaction time and will have to slam on your brakes more so than if you have a bit of a space cushion. It is worth it to take it easy on your brakes, even if you miss that green light or others merge in front of you.
3. Additions to Your Car
If your car is weighed down by additions such as larger tires, truck bed features, sporting equipment, or work supplies, this can indirectly wear down your brakes. The braking mechanism for your car was designed for the factory weight of your car. Any additional pounds will cause your brakes to work overtime with every stop.
4. Ignoring Warning Signs
If your brakes are speaking up, don't ignore them by turning up the radio! Noises such as screeching or a grinding sensation can mean that your brake pads are ready for a replacement. It is a good idea to get your car in for brake service. If you wait too long, pads will wear down to the metal and can damage the rotor or caliper, which will be an expense above and beyond brake pads.
While you might think that you are a great driver that takes care of your car, there might be small things you are doing that are inadvertently damaging your brakes. Pay attention to your car's needs and try to take on some good habits that can extend the life of your brakes. For assistance, talk to a brake service.