Driving on UAE roads is only safe when you have a pair of brakes that is working properly. We all know that brakes are vital for slowing the car down, whether the goal is to avoid a collision or stop at traffic lights.
As such, brakes are incremental to yours, and the safety of people near you. It always makes sense to check and ensure that they are properly maintained and/or replaced when the time for that comes.
But how do you know when your brakes need replacement? Better yet, how do you make sure that their lifespan is maximized? Before we jump to the actual tips, let’s talk about brakes in action and the signs that you need replacement.
How Brakes Work – And How To Tell If You Need To Replace Them
Brakes are attached to the wheels of your car as brake pads and discs, and connected to your interior through the pedals.
Whenever your foot pushes the brake pedal down, it pushes against one master cylinder, which is essentially a piston in brake fluid. Here, the fluid will move down the brake lines, forcing the caliper to squeeze a pair of brake pads against the brake disk. This is how your wheels slow down, and the energy released from this motion is what gets converted into waste heat, which is later dispersed.
Since the disc cools down relatively quickly, the brake offers a solid stopping performance (better than drum brakes) which is how this type of brakes got used in cars as we know them.
Signs that you need brake/disk replacement
The best way to examine your brakes is with your senses of sight, hearing and touch. We are not saying that this is an easy thing to do, but some of the general recommendations that you might need replacement of your brakes include the following:
- Squealing noises: Brakes that have worn usually produce some squealing noise. However, this noise can also be attributed to certain weather, the cleanliness of your brakes, the materials used for your brake pads etc. A loud screeching sound is usually the warning that your brake pads need replacing.
- Warning light: Nowadays, most of the modern cars come with a warning light indicator that is connected to sensors in your brake pads, showing you when you need to inspect them – or potentially replace them. We recommend you to check your owners’ manual before making sure your car has one.
- Vibrations: If your car vibrates as you brake, it is a sure sign that your brake discs are abnormally worn or went through some damage after severe braking.
- Your car pulls to one side: Another common sign is the car pulling to one side or the other while you are driving. If you are experiencing this, it could be a sign of worn out brake pads or sticky caliper guide pins or piston.
- Quick visual check: Visually checking your brakes on every 15,000 kilometers can give you a rough estimate on their health, assuming that your car doesn’t have brake sensors. The visual check should help you see whether there are any spokes on your car’s wheel. The common rule of thumb here is at least 3mm of visibility in the brake pad. So, if you see less than 3mm of your brake pads, they need to be replaced.
3 Ways To Maximize The Life Of Your Brakes
Whether you have visited a car technician in UAE for brake replacement or not, you should know how to maximize their lifespan and make them last longer. The truth is, there are multiple factors that are linked to the lifespan of your brakes, such as:
- Your driving habits: If you are driving fast, braking hard on the pedals and surprising your brake pads and disks, you are more likely to be in need of brake replacement sooner than later. To prevent this from happening, drive slower than usual and use the motor braking (if you use manual transmission) whenever possible.
- Your environment: UAE has a lot of city traffic, which often has us braking more than usual. On the good side, we don’t have a lot of mountains and steep hills where brakes are required (especially when going down), which is another big factor for brake replacement.
- The quality of your brakes: There are many different brake manufacturers and brake materials nowadays. Some last longer than others, and it is always important to get advice from a professional on which brakes to use in the future. In most of the cases, you get what you pay for and more expensive brakes are products made of higher quality.
How Often Do You Need To Replace Your Brakes?
This is another common question that many car owners have. The answer to it is not 100% accurate – in general, there are no fixed intervals when your brakes need replacement. Since their duration depends on your driving habits, environment and their quality, the best way for you to know whether you need replacement is to always inspect them and be aware of the signs that lead to worn out brakes.
So, on average, it takes up to 80.000 kilometers or even more before your brakes need replacement. However, as we said above, drivers with certain habits or bad quality brakes tend to replace them even sooner, on as low as 25.000 kilometers in the case of heavy duty use.
Note: If your discs are unevenly worn or badly scored, you should probably replace both your brake pads and your brake discs at the same time. The best way to know this is by consulting a brake professional in the UAE.
10 Quick Tips To Extend The Life Of Your Brake Pads
- Speed is our enemy – Full and complete stops from a high speed are the main cause of premature brake pad wear. So, try to avoid braking aggressively from fast speeds.
- Slow down before corners – Before entering a corner, slow down your car and avoid braking while turning.
- Slow down before road bumps – Never use your brakes while your car is moving over a bump on the road or a speed bump.
- Avoid using both feet to brake – Manual transmission users should avoid using their left (right foot) when braking, or both of their feet. Instead, the right foot should always be reserved for the brake pedal.
- Coast the more you can – If you see slowed down cars ahead of you, try to break sooner and lighter than you would before approaching them.
- Don’t “hurry up to stop” – You can even save money on gas and reduce brake wear and tear by not hurrying up to stop. For example, if you see a stop sign or a red light, start coasting and slow down.
- Keep your car lightweight – There are many people who like storing things in their cars, and in many cases, these things are heavy. Keeping the car as light as possible will reduce wear and tear in every element connected to the brakes.
- Flush your brake fluid at regular intervals – Brake fluid attracts water, which lowers its boiling point and reduces the braking performance. This can also lead to internal corrosion, which is why you need to flush your brake fluid regularly. The standard industry recommendation for this is on every two years or 40,000 kilometers.
- Get advice from a professional before buying new brakes – It is always good to know which brake pads and discs are made of better quality, and which are the ones you should avoid.
- Always replace your brakes at a professional car shop – At TyresOnline, we know how to properly replace your brakes and have a wide collection of brake pads and discs for every vehicle.
Now is the best time to schedule your brake inspection! Find a time that works for you and call us at 800 255 89737 to schedule yours!