Your car's brakes are used every day and if they should ever fail unexpectedly, that could lead to accidents and injuries. Ensuring that the rotors and brake pads are intact and functioning properly is important for all drivers on the road. You should also be doing the following to protect the brakes you've got.
Stop Riding Brake Pedal
As part of the way you drive on a normal day, you may let your foot linger on the brake pedal, particularly on a day when traffic is awful and you anticipating stopping a lot. Just be aware that every time you ride that pedal, there is increased heat in the car's brake pads which could wear them down sooner. That heat is unavoidable when stopping is crucial, but letting your foot remain on the pedal for long periods as you creep forward creates excessive heat that isn't necessary. Let up a bit and focus on hanging back in bumper-to-bumper traffic so that there's an air cushion in front of you rather than inching forward every few seconds.
Look for Brake Dust
One easy sign that you can do to check on the status of your brakes is to look down at the hubcaps. If you see some black dust-like particles that you can wipe away with your finger, that could be a good sign. That's because brake pads, over time, start to wear away as they're used; that brake dust you see is a result of the friction of the working brake pads. If you don't see any brake dust, it could mean that the pads have worn down so far that they need to be replace right away. You'll want to do that before you wear down the brake rotors as well, which could mean a much more dangerous situation.
See a Mechanic for Maintenance
A lot of people head to their local mechanic for regular oil changes without asking about their brakes. If your mechanic doesn't check out the brakes as part of your regular maintenance schedule, it's vital that you go ahead and ask them to do so. While it can be tough for them to tell you how long your brakes will last, they can give you some idea of how worn pads are or whether you need to have new ones put on.
Good brakes are essential to safe driving. Ask whether your mechanic, one like Buettner Tire & Auto, has additional tips and information that will allow you take proper care of your car brakes so you don't have to worry on the road.