The term “brake fade” refers to the decreased stopping power in a vehicle that happens over time due to using the brakes repeatedly. This is what causes the wearing of the brakes and is why brake pads need to be replaced. While there is certainly no way to prevent brake fade altogether, and never using your brakes again is not an option, there are some things that you can do to reduce brake fade. If you’re successful at reducing brake fade, then you will save money by not replacing your brakes as often.
- One thing you can do to reduce brake fade is to downshift your vehicle when traveling downhill rather than applying the brakes. This is more effective in a vehicle with a standard transmission, because you can downshift without using the brakes. In a vehicle with an automatic transmission, this technique can still be effective, but you should first apply the brake before downshifting. If you don’t, you can damage the transmission. After downshifting in an automatic, you can release your foot from the brake, and the vehicle’s speed will be reduced.
- Instead of applying constant pressure to your brakes, tap them. This allows the brakes time to cool between applications and in doing so reduces brake fade. Of course, in urgent situations, you will still need to apply constant brake pressure.
- Another thing you can do to prevent brake fade is to purchase high performance brakes. These are made from better materials, and there isn’t as much brake fade involved. However, the problem is that they are more expensive than regular brakes. They will last longer, but you’re still paying more initially for the brakes.
By using these steps and making a conscious effort to not apply constant pressure on the brakes, you can reduce brake fade and extend the life of your brakes. This will be less hassle for you and less money too. Though you will not be able to avoid replacing your brakes forever, you can do your part to make them last longer. The least number of times that you have to replace your brakes, the less the inconvenience is for you.