Brakes are one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. However, because you always use them, breaks wear down quickly and require regular inspections and the occasional brake repair. This is especially true if you want to keep them in top-working condition. If you drive your car with worn-down brakes you put yourself and others at risk. Brake Warning Signs You need to schedule a brake repair if: • The dashboard indicator light suggests there is a problem with the anti-lock brake system (ABS) • The brake pedal feels spongy or soft • Brakes are slow to respond • You hear squealing or grinding when you brake • The car pulls to one side while braking • You feel vibration or pulsating while using the brake pedal How Often Should I Get a Brake Repair? The answer varies, not only from model to model, but also from driver to driver. In some cases brakes will last 70,000 miles, and for other drives they will need changing after only 25,000 miles. Thus, on average you should have your brakes changed every 50,000 miles. However, for a more exact reading you should bring your car in for a brake inspection. Our technicians in Rockville, MD use a thorough inspection process that helps diagnose the health of your brakes. Want to help your brakes last longer? Fortunately there are some things you can do. Tips for Extending the Life of Your Brakes No one wants to hear they need an expensive brake repair, especially if you just had one not too long ago. Here are some ways to make brakes last longer: 1. Slow Down Frequent stops at high speeds are the worst enemy of your brake system. For example, stopping from 55 mph talks about a third less energy than stopping from 65 mph. Less speed means less kinetic energy, and the brakes do not need to work as hard to stop your vehicle. 2. Pick One Pedal Ever seen a car accelerating or holding a constant speed with the brake lights still illuminated? This means the driver is likely using their left foot on the brake while using their right foot on the throttle. Normally you drive with only your right foot, making sure to come completely off the gas before pressing the gas, and vice versa. To avoid frequently brake repairs never press down on both pedals simultaneously. 3. Coast If you know you have to stop at the end of an off-ramp, do not be afraid of coasting. Give yourself enough room to come off the gas and coast from 70 mph to 50 mph before applying the brakes. You are not going to lose any time. Also, the queue of cars will likely deplete ahead of you. 4. Find New Routes Another easy solution is finding alternate routes that do not have as many stop signs or signals. The less you need to use the brakes, the longer they will last. 5. Look Ahead Another suggestion is to pay attention to what is going on ahead of you. Look far enough ahead so you can better time stoplights, notice traffic, and other urban situations. By looking ahead and preparing for what is coming, you can avoid unnecessary braking and stay safe. 6. Don’t Wait Too Long There is a difference between being frugal about your brake repairs, and being foolish. If metal touches metal, you have taken your frugality too far. Don’t wait until it is too late for a brake check. Auto Care Clinic has been performing brake repairs in Bethesda, MD
and surrounding areas since 1994. From brake pedals to power brake boosters, and everything between, the professionals at Auto Clinic Care know every part of your brake system. Our technicians are ASE certified and can perform services on any make or model. Call us for a brake inspection or visit 5531 Nicholson Ln., Ste. A, Rockville, MD 20852.