Brake repairs eventually become necessary due to normal wear and tear. However, you'll need repair work less frequently if you avoid certain bad habits associated with braking. If you know you're susceptible to any of these behaviors, put a stop to them now. That will save you money and make you a safer driver as well.
Frequent Hard Braking
The habit of slamming on the brakes after rushing up to vehicles stopped at traffic lights, stop signs or railway crossings is hard on braking components. Instead, slow down as you approach these areas so your braking is smoother.
A similar problem involves traveling too closely to another vehicle on the highway, which can create the need for hard braking if that vehicle slows down. This not only puts extra stress on the brakes, it puts you at risk of a rear-end collision. Maintain a good distance from the car in front so you can gently push the brake pedal instead of doing so forcefully.
Chronic Braking on the Highway
You may be more likely to notice this behavior in other drivers than in yourself because it's easy to spot visually. You're driving on the highway and you see the brake lights on a car somewhere ahead of you repeatedly go on and off every few seconds, even though traffic is moving along at high speeds.
As with some situations involving hard braking, chronic braking usually is the result of traveling too close to the vehicle ahead. When you're watching someone else do this, you can almost feel that driver's frustration. They want to go faster but can't get around the car in front. Is that frustrated driver ever you, driving too close to the car ahead and having to keep hitting the brakes over and over?
Not Using the Parking Brake
Applying the parking brake whenever the vehicle is parked is a smart move; vehicle owner's manuals typically recommend this. This device takes stress off an automatic transmission when the vehicle is parked on an incline, and it prevents a manual-shift car from rolling. In addition, using this brake regularly keeps it functional. If you don't use it for months or years, the cable may freeze or break when you do decide you need it.
By eliminating bad braking habits, you'll have a less frequent need for vehicle brake repairs. You'll also lower your risk of an accident since you won't be following other cars too closely. Better driving habits are good for your wallet and your safety.