When you’re cruising in your car with the radio on and the windows down, you don’t have to think about a thing. Driving can be a carefree experience, and that’s all thanks to ingenuity and designs that make our modern vehicles function so flawlessly with minimal involvement from us.
Well, that’s not entirely true. Our cars will function properly only if we take care of them sufficiently in between driving. And, one of the most important parts of our vehicles are the brakes. Practicing proper maintenance on your brakes will mean a longer life for your vehicle, and possible a longer life for you!
The brakes are made up of two main parts, the pads and the rotors. Brake pads require regular maintenance. But unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to the question “How often?” Just like other factors like gas mileage will depend on where and how you drive, so do the conditions of your brakes. If you spend a lot of your time driving in heavy traffic and through towns where you stop at plenty of red lights and stop signs along the way, you will use your brakes more. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time driving on highways with light traffic, or in the country, your brakes won’t get worn so quickly. Take from this the lesson that riding your brakes when you drive or braking suddenly will decrease your brake pads’ life.
Since there’s no definite schedule for getting brake pads replaced, many professionals suggest that you have your brakes looked at each time you get an oil change or a tire rotation, or every six months. If, before that time, you hear a consistent screeching, grinding or squealing noise when you brake, take your car in to get looked at. Brake pads are reasonably simple and affordable to replace, but brake rotors cost much more to fix. Make sure you catch any potential wear to your brakes as early as possible for the safety of your passengers and your wallet!