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How to Save your Brake Pads

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Brake pads are expensive, and since they are commonly replaced along with rotors, you’re looking at around $500 for all 4 axles, given the cost of parts and hours of service. What can you do to make your brakes last as long as possible? Most of our tips are common sense, but we hope they’ll help you not only preserve your brake pads but also become a better driver.

A Short Lesson on Car Jargon

If you want to check out your own brake pads, you can do so easily once your tires are removed. You’ll see the metal disk called the rotor, which has the caliper clamped on one side. The calipers encase the brake pads, so undo the bolts and gently wiggle the calipers to inspect your pads. You want to see at least an eighth of an inch left of the pads. If it’s any less, you know it’s time to get them replaced.

Change the Brake Fluid

Brake fluid should be replaced approximately once every few years. Since it naturally mixes with water, it can cause serious corrosion along the rubber seals on the inside. When you brake hard, the friction causes the water to boil, which decreases the effectiveness of your brakes.

What About Hilly Terrain?

Canandaigua is well-known for her steep hills. So should you coast the entire way down and slam on your brakes once you reach your turn, or is it better to apply the brakes the whole way? Both options have their drawbacks. As gravity increases your momentum, the first option might burn out your pads completely. The second option can make the water mixed in your brake fluid to boil, which will cause preventable corroding within your brakes.


The best option is to slow down before you reach the hill, and then gently apply the brakes once or twice on your way down. You want to give your brakes a chance to cool down, but you also want to slow enough to make the turn safely. Remember, one good turn deserves another!


If you have any other questions how to save your brakes, give Murphy’s Tire Auto Service Center a call at 585-394-2350585-394-2350.



Written on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 by
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