Every now and again, certain part of your car will wear out and you'll need to head off to your friendly mechanic to put things right. However, sometimes you may feel as if you know your mechanic far too well, as you are visiting him or her on a regular basis. In particular, this may seem to be the case when it comes to your brakes. If so, what could you be doing wrong to cause these increasingly frequent visits to the shop?
What's Going Wrong?
In short, you may well have developed some bad habits after years of driving. These habits could be contributing to excessive wear and tear and you should take a good look at your driving behaviour to see what you can do. You may not be paying attention to other road users enough, or may simply be using a bad technique.
Imagine what happens when you drive to and from work every day. This may be very familiar and predictable and you might have to deal with heavy traffic. In these situations, other drivers may tend to slow down or speed up without any real reason, as they are not as familiar with the terrain. Try to predict this behaviour, especially if you know that the road ahead doesn't call for any deceleration in normal circumstances. Be prepared to change lanes to pass these vehicles, or decrease your forward speed in anticipation. In this way, you won't have to tap your own brake pedal as much any more.
Avoid the Concertina
It's a well-known fact that unnecessary braking in heavy driving conditions can lead to a "concertina" effect, causing delays to drivers who are well behind this activity. Once again, try and ignore people who simply touch the brakes for no reason. This will not only help you look after your braking system, but it will also save some fuel.
Now, look at your own behaviour. Do you have a tendency to drive as fast as you can before standing on the brakes to come to a halt at the next stop sign? Here again, you should anticipate the need to decelerate and do so steadily, rather than wearing out your brake system through heavy braking.
Don't Do This
Finally, don't get into the habit of resting your foot on the brake pedal, as some do in cars with automatic transmission. If you do this, you will be spending money without knowing it, as the brake pads will wear down much more quickly than they would otherwise.
Ask for Advice
When you visit your mechanic next, ask them if they think that your driving behaviour could be contributing to ongoing issues with the system. You might be surprised at what they say.