Auto Brakes Albuquerque NM
While more and more parts of your average car are now designed to resist wear and tear and last for much longer than similar parts 20 or even 10 years ago, there’s still one critical part that is designed to wear out: brake pads and rotors. Every time the brakes are applied, the pads and rotors wear down. But there is still a lot you can do to extend the life of your brake pads and rotors. Knowing what to do and look for when it comes to your brakes can save you money in the long run.
Good Driving Habits Can Save You Money
Naturally, vehicles which are mainly used for urban stop-and-go driving will experience brake wear faster than vehicles that are used on the highway. However the life of your brakes can be extended by driving less aggressively. Don’t wait till the last second to stop, instead when you see a red light begin to slow down gradually. Take the highways when you can and don’t drive faster than you need to.
Life Expectancy of Your Brakes
Aside from environment (urban, highway, mountain, heavy towing, etc.) and driving style, the next biggest factor that determines how long your vehicle’s brakes will last is the size and weight of the vehicle. For example, the front brakes on a large SUV that is often driven in an urban setting may only last 30,000 miles or so. However the brakes on smaller vehicles may only need to be replaced as little as every 80,000 miles. A rough average for the life expectancy of brake pads is possibly 50-60,000 miles, and the rotors can be expected to last through 3 to 4 sets of brake pads.
Regardless of size or driving style, you should have your brakes checked every 12 months. This can help catch problems such as prematurely worn pads, cracked, rusted, or unevenly worn rotors early and reduce cost by only requiring the rotors to be machined rather than replaced. When it comes to brake fluid, manufacturer guidelines vary. But a good rule of thumb is to have the brake fluid replaced every 24,000 miles or so. Bad brake fluid can cause premature failure of the many components in your brakes.
Signs that Brake Service is Needed
There are several indicators that every motorist should be aware of when it comes to maintaining healthy brakes.
- The most obvious is a loud squeaking or squealing sound when the brakes are applied. This has several possible causes such as worn pads or shoes, having the wrong pads or shoes installed, a bad rotor finish or unevenly worn rotors, a lack of lubrication, or worn components of the brake system.
- Another common problem is a brake pedal that has fallen towards the floor of the vehicle. This can indicate that there is a leak in the hydraulic system, there is air in the hydraulic system, or the brake shoes are out of adjustment.
- If your steering wheel shakes or your brake pedal pulsates, it can indicate that the rotors or drums are warped or distorted in some way.
- If the ABS (Antilock Brake System) light is lit up, it can indicate worn out pads, low brake fluid, or worn out wheel bearings.
Take Action, Save Money!
If you notice any of these signs, you should have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible to minimize the cost of repairs and maximize your safety.
So remember to have your TKS automotive specialist inspect your brakes every year. If you do happen to notice problems in-between, you can always bring your vehicle for a free inspection and quote with a guarantee of fast and professional service.