Different driving styles have a dramatic effect on how often your brakes need to be serviced or overhauled. A set of brake pads can last only 25,000 miles in a vehicle driven in busy city traffic as compared to open driven on the open highway.
We may have all gone through that annoying experience where a driver steps on the brake pedal every few meters, especially in traffic jams.
By the time you get to your destination, you are so exhausted from the sudden jerking of the car that it may seem you have been traveling all day.
Reduce tyre traction
James Okello, a technician in the tyre clinic at Total, Station Road, says fierce braking and acceleration can lead to a reduction in tyre traction.
“When you brake, the tyre will move forward for a few meters, and that particular part of the tyre that is in contact with the road will get spoilt with time.”
The tyre treads will wear out leading to a loss of friction every time the tyre comes into contact with the road surface.
“If you detect noxious odours emitting from your tyres when you break, it is time to visit the mechanic,” he says.
“Those smells are not normal and could indicate dangerous consequences if unattended to.”
Spoil driving shaft
Unnecessarily use of brakes can also damage the driving shaft. Okello says the driving shaft is basically a ball and socket and “excessive braking removes the ball from the socket. If you are driving and you hear noise especially when you are turning, the driving shaft needs attention.”
The brake tubes are what transmit brake fluid to the brake pads. Over stepping on the brake pads will cause damage to the tubes and they may burst. “When the brake tubes are damaged, and the brake fluid leaks, then the brakes will not work,” says Okello.
What to do
Be alert to upcoming traffic conditions especially if the car you are driving has good ground clearance and can give you proper road visibility. This will help you eliminate unnecessary heavy braking. It will also help in reducing the number of gear changes you have to make. In a traffic jam, it is more efficient to keep the car moving than to start from a complete stop.