Getting your brakes checked regularly makes good auto care sense. It will also help you avoid major brake repairs.
It’s been chilly the past couple of days but, so far, we’ve managed to avoid the icy cold weather that has parts of the north enduring temperatures in the minus column. That’s one of the many joys of living in the greater New Orleans and Metairie area. But just because we’re not enduring frigid temperatures, we can’t ignore basic winter auto care, like making sure our tires are properly inflated and in good condition and ensuring our car and truck batteries are ready for the cooler weather.
But there’s more to winter car care than that, according to the nonprofit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an independent group that tests and certifies the competence of auto technicians. One thing the ASE says you shouldn’t forget is to “have your brakes checked periodically for safety and to prevent costly repairs that can be caused by neglect.”
Having your brakes checked regularly by ASE-certified auto mechanics like those at Twin Tire and Auto Care is important at any time of the year. But there are also things you can do as a driver and a car owner to make your brakes last longer. Five tips from vehicle tester and former racecar driver Mac Demere:
- “Speed kills - Stops from high speed are the mortal enemy of brakes. And a little more speed hurts more than you can imagine. Stopping from 65 mph rather than 55 forces the brakes to dissipate about a third more energy. … Brakes sacrifice their lives by turning energy into heat. A little less speed means a lot less … brake material … needs to be transformed into heat.”
- “No lefties - Use only your right foot on the brake pedal. [You] often see cars cruising at a constant speed or accelerating … with brake lights either constantly illuminated or glowing like lonely lightning bugs. By braking with only your right foot, you'll avoid simultaneously pushing both pedals.”
- “Flush it - Brake fluid needs to be periodically changed. In mechanic-speak it's called bleeding and flushing. Renew your brake fluid, especially if you have an older vehicle or one you purchased used. You gain nothing if you save brake material but the insides of the system rot away. Flushing the brake fluid will make the internal components last longer and the brakes work better.”
- “Upgrade and specialize - Don't complain if bargain brakes wear out quickly, but don't expect the most expensive pads to last forever. Today's brake pads are extremely complex. They may contain a dozen or more components, and are designed for specific uses. Brake material that best survives heavy-use, high-heat situations may perform poorly for drivers who emphasize economy.”
- “Be frugal, not foolish - Trying to extend brake life too long will cost big money. If metal touches metal, frugality becomes foolish. A good time to inspect brake material thickness is when you have your tires rotated.”
Twin Tire can take care of all those brake maintenance chores. And, if you need new brakes or brake repair, we can also take care of that. Twin Tire has been providing auto care to the greater New Orleans and Metairie area for more than 41 years. We have three convenient auto care locations in Harvey, Marrero and Hammond to handle cars and light trucks. For heavy trucks and commercial vehicles, try our Harahan location. We provide service and auto repair to all types of vehicles – traditional gas powered, hybrid, diesel and electric.
Now is a good time to stop by Twin Tire because we have a $25 gift certificate for our customers to use whatever way they want (except on a conventional oil change). It’s good for service to all types of cars and light trucks (gas powered, diesel, hybrid, electric). You have until Jan. 31 to use it and it can’t be combined with any other offer.
Come to Twin Tire and let us worry about your car or truck. Then you can easily enjoy this weekend’s bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans.