Give Your Brakes a Break!
The life of your brakes is very much within your control. Use common sense and the info you get here to change ingrained habits. 106 St Tire & Wheel loves to save you money, you are our peeps...save money, live long and prosper!
1-High speed driving and brake life: <= well, the last statement is contradictory in terms. Your brakes will have a short life span if you are one of those people who drives like the above. Your own life span maybe shortened as well. We could give you an extensive physics explanation about the energy brakes dissipate during high speed stops but come on now lets use common sense. If you want a long brake life watch the fast stops at high speed and avoid stop and go (that will be difficult in NYC's "severe" traffic congestion) and use common sense, do not ride your brakes! Slow down which means adhering to the new NYC speed limit which is 25 miles, and, you bet, you are on the radar with "photo enforced" scrutiny. The city will send you a nice greeting with pictures showing your vehicle speeding and a summons. One picture worth $50 dollars in this case.
2-Use only your right foot on the brake pedal....if your left foot wants to do something, you can do rumba lessons (not behind the wheel, please) or get a car with a stick shift. Many people's brake lights are either constantly lit or blinking from the back and forth motion of your nervous left foot tic....don't do that. Right foot braking only please?
3-The art of coasting: speed kills lots of things... animals, kids, people, other drivers and your brakes! If you are getting off a road like a highway with a long ramp, take your foot off the accelerator and just coast...it saves brake wear and saves you gas!
4-Memorize the roads you travel: Memorize places where other drivers inappropriately slow down, as you know, NYC drivers can't handle rain, snow, ice, etc. and these elements make the bottle necks worse. Also include hills which some how come as a shock to dim wits who have been driving that same road for 20 years. Also, entrance ramps and easy highway curves that many mistake for hairpin turns at Talladega can be a driver's nightmare. Some of my personal favorites? Going from the Cross Island to the Clearview South and exiting at Bell Blvd? Or how about the merge going over to the Whitestone Bridge exit from the Cross Island where traffic slows to a snails pace because some people make the one lane exit a 2 lane exit to get the 10 second advantage of passing you up typing up the Cross Island? To make things worse we have a Talladega turn there...ugh! How about the approach from the GCP to the Jackie Robinson Highway before 8PM? Brake lights, brake lights, brake lights. Blink! Blink! And God forbid its raining......Another growing favorite are those "speed bumps" near schools that can ruin your wheel alignment, bust your shocks or hit a child. Those warnings are painted on the blacktop, there are vertical signs but somehow some people jam on their brakes...I dunno why, they seem pretty clearly marked! Remember, speed rules change where there are schools. NYC drivers...they are a challenge and often times, you'll have to coast down to their pace. Plan ahead (a great life strategy not just on the roads) and you might be able to change lanes around trouble spots. Using your brakes less often is a great habit and extends brake life and saves you gas and maybe lessens the possibility of getting hit from behind...maybe?
5. Look ahead at the road and not your cell phone.... particularly on inclined roads where you can see the traffic in front of you. By scoping the roads like this you drive more carefully. Thinking of your journey as a strategic and tactical video game helps keep you focused. Other people's brake lights alert you to conditions ahead and rather than jamming on your brakes, you're coasting....remember?
6. Don't join the stop and go brakers: Many drivers brake because the guy in front did; this is driving not a game of follow the money in front of you because, of course, you know driver in front of you touched his brake for no good reason. It'll take a bit of practice to learn to coast when others wearing out their brakes prematurely.
7. Lose Some Weight....from your trunk: A heavier vehicle is harder on brakes so store the tires, sports equipment, tools, etc at home and add to extending the life of your brakes saving gasoline.
8. Flush It: Brake fluid needs to be periodically changed, look at your owners manual to determine if you are due for a change and get it done. Brake fluid naturally attracts water. In an emergency stop this moisture boils and severely reduces braking effectiveness. Moisture also promotes corrosion which create havoc on critical rubber seals.
9. Bargain brakes...106 St Tire & Wheel uses Napa brakes: Don't complain if bargain brakes wear out fast but no brake will last forever. Always evaluate what quality brake your specific driving circumstances requires. Remember, if you drive in NYC, you drive in severe situations all the time....crowded roads, stop and go, etc.
10. Things not to skimp on....tires, brakes, maintenance of safety features. Trying to squeeze the last stop possible out of your brakes is foolishness. Have your brakes inspected when you get your tires rotated and at 106 St Tire & Wheel we will give you a free tire rotation when you get your oil changed and we will also inspect your tires free.