5 Ways to Add Miles to Your Brakes

Sun Auto Service Expert, published on 08/24/2015

Wondering how to add miles to your brakes? No exact schedule tells you when it's time to replace the brakes, so it's best to rely on the advice of an experienced automotive technician. The mechanics at Sun Auto Service can check the thickness of the pads and the condition of the brake hardware to detect wear if your car doesn’t have a built-in indicator or sensor.

Extending the Life of Your Brakes

Whether you make your brakes last longer or wear them out quickly is partially your choice. It all depends on how you drive and if you live on relatively flat areas or on winding mountain roads. Some tips to add miles to your brakes include:

  1. Replacing your brake fluid. If you bought a used car or have an older one, make sure to have the brake fluid flushed every other year. Flushing your brake fluid will make the internal elements last longer and lead to better-functioning brakes.
  2. Keeping weight down. Many aftermarket parts, particularly wheels and tires, can add a lot of weight and wear your brakes down faster than normal. You should also consider vehicle weight prior to buying a vehicle. A heavier vehicle is harder on brakes, tires and gas.
  3. Using your right foot on the brake pedal only. By braking with just your right foot, you can avoid pushing both the gas and brake pedals simultaneously. Also, it'll be easier to resist tapping the brakes unnecessarily.
  4. Stopping at lower speeds vs. higher speeds. Stopping at high speeds prematurely ages brakes. For example, stopping at 65mph rather than 55mph forces the brakes to use about a third more energy. Stopping at slower speeds means sacrificing less brake material.
  5. Specializing and upgrading. Brake pads are complex and may contain multiple components that are designed for specific uses. Make sure to match your driving style with the right brakes.

Trying to prolong brake life too long can be expensive in the end. An ideal time to examine brake material thickness is when your tires are rotated, in conjunction with your routine oil change service. With a wheel removed, the technician can quickly check disc brake pad thickness.