When driving a car, the ability to stop reliably ensures you are safe on the road. While regular brake service is important when you need to replace the pads or fix issues, proper maintenance involves many steps that you can do yourself. Below are several strategies for what you should and shouldn't do to extend the life of your brakes.


Use the brakes sparingly.

The more often you engage the brakes, the faster the pads will wear out. While stopping is necessary, you can reduce wear and tear by keeping a large gap between your car and the vehicle in front of you. This gap should be at least one car length for every 10 mph you are driving. This allows you to slow steadily when stopping, rather than slamming on the brakes. Additionally, you won't have to tap the pedal constantly to adjust your speed.

Check the pads and rotors.

Brake service

About once a month, inspect the brake system on your vehicle. While you can often see the pads without removing the tires, the rotors are harder to check. Start by looking at the pads to see if they are thin, blackened, or cracked. If they are, prompt brake service is necessary to replace them. If you are comfortable taking the tires off, do so and look at the rotors. Pay attention to any visible damage, as this can interfere with the rotor's ability to stop the car.


Carry unnecessary weight.

The more weight your vehicle carries, the harder it is for the brake system to slow and stop the car. If you regularly haul equipment or tools, this results in more wear and tear. Before driving long distances, remove any unnecessary items from the vehicle's trunk. This will help you stay safe and extend the life span of the brakes.

Drive in heavy rain.

Brakes are made of metal and use friction to stop the car. When they are exposed to heavy rain, this can rust the metal, preventing the rotors from moving smoothly and reducing the friction generated. Additionally, corrosion eats away at the metal, which means holes can form. If a large storm is in the forecast, consider leaving before it starts or waiting for it to pass before driving.


If you need brake service to replace your pads or rotors, contact Mullanphy Tire & Automotive in Florissant, MO. This full-service shop has over 31 years of experience providing high-quality auto repairs. They handle everything from simple tire rotations and oil changes to exhaust and transmission service. Visit the website for more information about their services, and call (314)921-4961 to schedule an appointment.