Car Care Month: Extend the Life of your Brakes

October 9th, 2023 by

Your car’s brakes should typically last anywhere from 30,000 and 70,000 miles, depending on multiple factors. The longer you can make your brake pads last, the less often you’ll have to spend around $200 to get any of them replaced.

At Kia Country of Charleston, we’re continuing to share car maintenance tips throughout October’s Car Care Month. Here are 5 ways that you can extend the life of your brakes.

Keep an Eye on Speed

Keeping your speed under control will help with more than just “in-the-moment” safety. In the long run, this is also very important relating to the condition of your brakes. Some of the other topics this blog will cover will relate directly to this. But in short, the less you have to slow your vehicle from a very high speed, the less wear you’ll be putting on your brake pads.

Try to Coast when Possible

Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic. When cars are stopping or slowing down in front of you, it’s best to take your foot off the pedal and coast down to a slower speed, rather than hitting the brakes hard when you near stopped traffic ahead of you. 

Going uphill is a great example of this. If you’re driving uphill toward stopped cars, why bother braking before you crest the hill? Simply coast up, and lose some speed, then brake when you really need to. Doing so will seriously extend the lifetime of your brake pads.

Don’t “Hurry Up To Stop”

When you see that you’re approaching a yellow or red light, take your foot off the gas as soon as it makes sense and start coasting to a slowed stop. There is almost never a need to “hurry up to stop.” This simply wastes fuel and will continue to wear down your brake pads more than is necessary.

Keep Your Car As Light As Possible

The more work your brakes have to put into slowing a giant moving chunk of metal, the less time they’ll last you. So it’s wise to keep your car’s weight as low as you can control. Avoiding loading it up with unnecessary cargo is important.
For some of us, our vehicles can become dumping grounds for things we have to take care of eventually. Leaving anything like unwanted furniture or pounds of goodwill donations in your car can have a greater impact on your vehicle’s weight than you’d expect. So reconsider leaving those golf clubs in the car permanently, if you’re not using them every day.

Flush Your Brakes Routinely

Your brakes should be bled and flushed about every 2 years, especially if you have an older car. This will help your brakes work more effectively, and make your internal components work longer.

Brake fluid accumulates water over time. Over the course of general use, this water can boil, reducing braking effectiveness. This moisture can also cause internal corrosion on your brake pads, which can negatively affect certain components like rubber seals.

If you take care to follow all of these tips to the best of your ability, you’ll get a noticeable amount of extra life out of your brake pads. But when you do start to see signs of issues and need a repair or replacement, our Kia Country of Charleston service center can always help you out.