3 tips to make your vehicle brakes last longer

by Hector Tan (htan@sph.com.sg)
published on 29 March 2016

Looking after your vehicle’s braking system can help it to last longer before it finally wears out.

Mr Philip Wan, 49, director of Servotronic Motor Workshop, said: “Vehicle brakes are often overlooked by car owners. Drivers should maintain their vehicle brakes as they guarantee their safety while they are on the road.

“Vehicle brakes can wear out quickly depending on your driving habits. Your vehicle’s servicing manual will indicate how often you should replace your brakes. Or you can have them checked at least once a year.”

Here are ways to help your brakes last longer.

1. Don’t speed

Always keep within the speed limit.

“Try not to speed or accelerate, or drive too close to other vehicles. It increases your chances of hard braking at the last minute, which wears out your brakes more quickly,” said Mr Wan.

2.  Check your brake fluid

Mr Wan recommended having your vehicle’s brake fluid replaced once every two years.

He said: “Replace the brake fluid if you feel that your car’s braking response time is getting a little sluggish."

Another sign is when you detect a burnt odour when you are braking. It means that the brake fluid is overheated.

“Old brake fluid overheats easily. Drivers who transport heavy loads or ply uphill routes have to be more alert to this. The brake fluid degrades more quickly due to the frequent hard braking required under such driving conditions,” said Mr Wan.

3.  Drive smart

Be smarter about the way you drive. One way is to look further ahead of you and anticipate when you need to accelerate, slow down or stop your vehicle.

Mr Wan said: “Keep your car a good distance away from another vehicle, and be proactive when you drive. If you are driving on the highway or see traffic lights up ahead, you can let your vehicle coast and gradually slow down, or accelerate when you need to maintain a certain speed. This helps you save fuel and makes your brakes last longer.”