We never recommend ignoring signs that you need new brakes. Sounds like grinding or squealing while braking are signs you likely need a brake job now. However, if you want your brakes to last as long as they’re designed to, we have some tips that can help.
If it’s been a few years since you took driver’s education or you’re actually old enough to have driven cars without power-assisted braking, you may not know the right way to use your brakes. First, and we can’t stress this enough, if you have an automatic transmission vehicle, you should only be using one foot to drive. Using both feet increases the chance that you’re unknowingly riding your brake as you’re accelerating. This wears down your brakes and ruins your gas mileage.
A great way to think about braking (in non-emergency situations) is that there is an egg between your foot and the brake petal. Depressing gently and smoothly allows the brake system to engage properly. There’s a lot going on when you engage your brakes – here’s a short video explanation of one type of power-assisted brakes.
As you add up the miles on your car, your brakes age. Depending on the type of driving you do, you may need new brakes after 25,000 miles if you do a lot of city driving where you stop frequently or you may be able to go 50 – 70,000 miles before it’s time for new ones. However, proper maintenance is key. Make sure your brake fluid is clean and at the proper level. As you get closer to needing to replace your brakes, have your mechanic check your brake pads and rotors and replace them when recommended.
Empty Your Car
If your trunk or truck bed is full of non-essentials, take them out. With every added pound in your vehicle, you increase the work your braking system does. You may not think there’s much in your car as far as added weight, but you may be surprised once you clean it out at all the non-essentials you’ve been hauling around.
Oldsmar Automotive can help with brake fluid flush and new brakes. Stop by our facility at 3166 Oldsmar Road for an inspection and quote for new brakes or a brake fluid flush. If you know you need any of our services, call us for an appointment at (727) 784-3501.