How often should you get your brakes checked?
Car brake repair is one of the most common repairs in the automobile industry. With constant stop/start driving, brakes need to be regularly checked. Replacing your brake pads at the right time can save you time and money and help reduce the risk of a breakdown.
How often should you get your brakes checked? There’s no easy answer
Should you get your brakes checked at 40,000km, 80,000km, 120km or all the above? There is no simple answer because it’s different for every driver and driving style. Quick starts, short trips and city driving all burn fuel faster than steady highway driving. While vehicle manufacturers offer an indication of the “life” of their brake pads, the way you drive can have a big impact. A good time to have a mechanic look at your brakes is when you get your tyres rotated – typically recommended every six months. The benefit is that you can find out about the thickness of the brake pads and the condition of other brake parts, including the condition of the calipers and drum hardware.
How can I extend the life of my brakes?
No matter how cautiously you drive and care for your brake pads, you’ll need to have them replaced at one point or another.
Here are our tips for extending the life of your brakes:
- Not so fast
- Steady driving can help your brakes last longer. Fast braking generates friction which increases wear and tear on your brake pads and shortens their lifespan. Fast driving also burns more fuel, so it’ll wear out your wallet too.
- Don’t ride your brakes
- If you are driving down a hill, try to avoid pushing the brake pedal all the way down. If you have an automatic vehicle, work on perfecting the art of coasting. If you are driving a manual, downshift and slow your roll.
- Check brake and clutch fluid levels
- On most cars you can see the brake and clutch fluid levels through the transparent plastic reservoirs. If not, remove the cap and check the level inside. The level should be maintained between the maximum and minimum marks. Only top up the reservoir with new brake fluid of the correct grade. The need for constant topping up indicates the possibility of a leak that must be checked by your mechanic.
- Use “engine braking”
- Engine braking disengages the engine and lightens the load on your brakes when you need to stop. When you see a red light, stop sign, roadworks or heavy traffic ahead, ease your foot off the accelerator. Engine braking means less wear and less heat on your brake pads and brake system.
- Lighten your load
- Driving with a heavy load means your brake pads must work harder to stop your vehicle. Removing anything from your boot or roof that you don’t need can help give your brakes a break. Less weight also results in improved fuel economy.
Barossa Brakes & Suspension – keeping you safe on the roads since 1989
Don’t wait for your brakes to squeal or grind. Chat to our experienced mechanics at Barossa Brakes & Suspension. We are specialists in servicing brakes, suspensions and wheel alignment and balancing for both light vehicles and 4WDs to ensure driver safety, passenger safety and the protection of other drivers on the road. In addition, we offer general maintenance on trailers and stock a wide range of 4WD parts and accessories.We offer a warranty on all our repairs and treat every car we work on as if it were our own. Our goal is to keep you safe and on the road.
Since 1989, Barossa Brakes & Suspension has been servicing motorists throughout the Barossa Valley, Riverland and Gawler areas. Tanunda, Nuriootpa and Lyndoch are among the towns we service.
Need to get in touch with Barossa Brakes & Suspension? Call us on (08) 8563 3688 or direct your email to