Bad Brakes – Can They Damage Your Car?
“Changing the way you drive can keep you out of brake shops, saving you money and keeping you safer on the road.
Simply slowing down, taking more time to stop, avoiding overloading your car, and taking other steps to change your driving habits can extend the life of your brakes and preserve their performance. With healthier brakes, you’ll have greater control over your vehicle, and you’ll be safer on the road.
Letting your brake pads go bad may cost you a lot more than a few bucks to replace the pads. Without healthy brake pads, many of your car’s other components will start to break down, potentially costing you thousands in other repairs.
Here are a few other components that can be damaged by bad brakes:
Your brake rotors are the first to go after your brake pads have worn down. The brake pads and shoes are the first point of contact for stopping the vehicle, and when they wear down, the pressure is applied to the rotors instead.
The rotors can then become warped, ground down or even cracked over time, requiring an expensive replacement. Bad brake pads can also cause your wheels to run hotter, and that heat can also cause the rotors to warp.
If you change your brake pads as needed, you will be able to keep the same rotors for a very long time and save a lot of money. Pay attention to the warning signs that your brake pads are in trouble, such as squealing or strange odours, and replace the pads without delay.
Callipers are another part of the overall brake system. The callipers are like clamps that fit over the rotor and are connected to the brake pads. They are the arms that control the brake pad sandwich.
When you brake, the callipers apply pressure to the rotors to stop the wheel from turning. However, the brake pads are a buffer between the callipers and the rotor.
When the brake pads wear down, there is nothing between the callipers and the rotors, and the two parts are just grinding against each other.
The callipers are important components in the braking system, so allowing them to become damaged can have serious consequences and replacing them can cost a lot of money.
Your suspension system plays a big role in how your car responds to external stimulus. With the right suspension system, your ride will still feel smooth even when you are driving over gravel or otherwise bumpy roads.
When your suspension system is damaged or has become unbalanced, it will cause your ride to become a lot rockier.
Over time, bad brakes can throw off your suspension system by causing it to become out of alignment or damaging some of its components.
Even if you change the brakes, the damaged suspension system can still cause the car to lurch forward when you brake. A damaged suspension system can cause all kinds of other problems, including vibrations and strange noises.
Worn-out brakes don’t work as effectively, so you’ll end up stopping much harder than you should have to with healthy brakes. Your tires will take a hit each time you have to slam on your brakes.
The rubber will wear down faster, increasing the risk of exposed tread and tire failure.
Bad brakes can also cause your tires to become unbalanced or to fall out of alignment, and that can set off a cascade of issues for your tires and other car components.
Your performance will be compromised, and your wallet will take a huge hit.
Protecting Your Brakes
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to protect your brakes and ensure that you get the most life out of them and the best performance for your car.
- Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your brakes is to give yourself plenty of time to stop. Don’t tailgate people, causing you to have to slam on the brakes and wear down your brake pads faster.
- Plan out your route so that you aren’t hitting your brakes hard to take turns at the last minute. Look far ahead as you are driving to spot any obstacles before they cause you to have to stop suddenly. Look for stop lights, drivers cutting out quickly in front of you, animals at the side of the road, and more.
- Don’t ride your brakes while you’re driving. By giving yourself plenty of stopping distance, you won’t feel the need to constantly be tapping your brakes anyway, since you will have plenty of free room in front of you.
- If you are in traffic, just let space form in front of you before moving ahead. You don’t have to move a few inches every time they open up.
- Clear your car of heavy items and keep the clutter out of your vehicle. The heavier your load is, the more pressure you put on your brakes when you stop, which will wear down your brake components faster.
- With a lighter load, you’ll protect your brakes, improve your fuel efficiency and enjoy better performance from your vehicle.
- Slow down, keep a safe driving distance, keep the clutter out of your car and practice overall safe driving habits, and you’ll protect your brakes and protect your car.
At the first sign of trouble with your brakes, head into your service shop to have them checked out and replaced if necessary. The sooner you replace worn brake pads, the less risk there will be to other brake components or car parts.”
All opinions expressed in this article are not the onus of the publisher nor supplier.