Brakes: Let's get the MOST life out of 'em!!! : K.C. Martin Auto Repair Blog
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Brakes: Let's get the MOST life out of 'em!!!

by KC Martin Automotive on 08/20/14

KC Martin is here for you when your brakes need any check, replacement, or repair. But,our main goal is for you to get the most life out of all your car's systems. Every time you bring your car to one of our Lynnwood auto repair shops, we make sure to report on your brake life (even if you are only in for an oil change). We stay accurate, so that when we say "it's time for a pad replacement", you know it needs to be done pronto!

But, what can you do in the meantime to make sure that we don't have to replace the pads too often?  Well, there are a few things that can help---and even aid in increasing gas mileage, and overall safety. Here are five quick tips to getting more life out of your car's brake pads and even getting more longevity out of the rest of the brake system:

1. Never use your left foot on the brake. If you can, try to avoid using your left foot on the brake.  Use your right foot for both acceleration and braking. This reduces the chance that you will be accelerating while holding any brake contact. Pushing both pedals will considerably shorten the life of the pads.

2. Keep from stopping at high speeds. You'd be shocked at the difference between stopping from 65 miles per hour and 50 miles per hour to your brake system.  Not that we suggest you NEVER drive 65, but you will want to find some strategies to make sure that you have dropped your speed LONG before attempting a stop. (Tips 3 and 4 can help you to do that!)

3. Coast to lower speeds before making complete stops. This is especially important when exiting a freeway.  As you approach the off-ramp, you can simply take your foot off of the gas pedal a little earlier and let the car slow down on it's own, while coasting. Same thing when heading uphill---the incline will slow you down somewhat without using your brakes.

4. Look ahead and plan ahead for stopped drivers.  Essentially, the tips above lend to this tip. Pay attention a little further out to notice that drivers are stopped, and when a green light is stale and will likely hit yellow before you get there.  You can put that coasting into practice, so long as you stay aware of what lies ahead. Remember, braking suddenly is what we are trying to avoid, in order to extend the life of your brakes.

5. Get a break flush when necessary. Brake fluid needs to be periodically changed. In mechanic-speak it's called bleeding and flushing. New brake fluid can be beneficial, especially if you have an older vehicle or one you purchased used. You gain nothing if you save brake material but the insides of the system rot away. Flushing the brake fluid will make the internal components last longer and the brakes work better.

We hope these tips will help you get a little more life out of your brakes. It's good to save money, but make sure you get your car in to KC Martin to have them checked often enough. You waste more money than you can imagine, if you let the brake pads wear down to the metal. We hope you'll trust our shop, as we've been handling Brake Repair in Lynnwood WA since 1948!

Comments (4)

1. Nora Moore said on 3/16/15 - 07:43AM
That makes sense to only use one foot for both the break and the accelerator. I want to make sure that my brakes stay healthy as long as possible. It's nice to know that I'm already doing some things right by coasting a bit before hitting my brakes. I don't like making abrupt stops.
2. Dee Francis said on 2/16/16 - 02:51PM
Thanks for these tips for getting the most out of my brakes. I just installed new brake pads, so I want to make sure they'll last a while. Getting a break flush every once in a while seems like a great way to take care of them. I haven't flushed them in a while, so now I should consider making a habit of doing that when necessary.
3. Anna Picket said on 3/2/16 - 06:36PM
Letting my car coast a little more would take some of the stress off my brake system. It can be easy to fall into the habit of always having my foot either on the gas or the brake. If I could extend the life of my brakes, I'd be really happy, so I'll have to be a little more conscientious.
4. Kendall Everett said on 6/30/16 - 11:03AM
Your suggestion to look ahead of when you may need to brake was really helpful. If you can plan for a stop, you won't need to slam on the brakes like you mentioned. Planning ahead would also help you avoid any accidents.

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