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Bendix’s tips for extending brake life

Technical Bulletins

Feb 06, 2023

For many people, spending money maintaining their vehicle is a grudge purchase – they know they should do it but are reluctant to hand over their hard-earned cash, especially in a climate of rising interest rates and inflation.

It makes sense then to try and extend the life of wear and tear items such as brake pads and disc rotors. Depending on the vehicle, driving conditions and application, brake pads can last anywhere between 45,000 to 100,000 kilometres (give or take) with disc brake rotors having a similar lifespan.

There’s a big difference within this range, so how do you go achieving longevity that’s closer to the 100K mark rather than the 45,000? Most of it comes down a little common sense.

Extending brake life 1

At a time where budgets are strained, it makes sense to employ driving techniques that will extend the life of brake parts such as pads and disc rotors.

Minimise hard braking

Hard braking is the main contributor to brake wear, particularly braking from speed. Brakes function by transforming energy into heat and the more energy they need to dissipate, the greater the wear rate because more friction material is used in the process. The excessive heat caused by heavy braking can also lead to increased rates of wear.

Practice coasting

This is a technique that has the driver paying extra attention to traffic flow and the road conditions ahead and applying a preemptive driving style. This may involve lifting the foot off the accelerator if they see traffic forming up ahead and more gradually slowing rather than braking hard just before the congestion is reached. A similar approach should be used when approaching a turnoff. Widening the gap to the vehicle in front during general driving will also help reduce wear.

Extending brake life 3

'Coasting' as you approach traffic lights or traffic congestion ahead will help reduce wear.

Use engine braking

Engine braking is particularly effective when descending steep hills. Rather than braking all the way down to control the speed, drivers can select and hold a lower gear and use the engine’s compression to maintain the desired speed, occasionally applying the brakes to keep in check if necessary.

Extending brake life 4

When descending hills, try and use more engine braking applying the brakes to adjust when necessary.

One pedal at a time

A bad habit that some drivers can form is simultaneously accelerating with the right foot while braking with the left. Also known as ‘riding the brakes’, this malpractice can lead to the driver applying light continuous pressure on the brakes to the detriment of both the pads and rotors. And of course, it also increased fuel consumption.

Lighten up

Founder of the Lotus sports car company, Colin Chapman, was a believer in keeping vehicles light, in fact his well-known mantra was: “Simplify, then add lightness.” This philosophy leads to improved handling but also reduces vehicle stresses. The heavier the vehicle, the larger its kinetic load and therefore more braking energy is needed to slow it down, so remove any unnecessary weight, such as rarely used accessories, tools or other general items that have been stored onboard.

Extending brake life 5

Travel light and save weight - clear out the vehicle of any rarely used accessories or other 'stuff' that's not needed. A lighter vehicle needs less braking force to slow down.

Quality braking components and professional servicing

The old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ is certainly true when it comes to brake parts. Bendix’ range of brake pads including its General CT range, multi-purpose Heavy Duty Brake Pads, Ultimate, Ultimate+, Ultimate 4WD, Euro+, Street Road Track and EV-Hybrid Pads offer a variety of friction compounds to suit different vehicles and applications – all are developed and engineered to provide long-lasting performance and superior stopping power. Similarly, Bendix’s replacement disc brake rotors (Euro+ and Ultimate ranges) offer High Carbon Metallurgy that improves disc rotor longevity.

Extending brake life 6

When it comes to braking components, you get what you paid for. Bendix's quality products are engineered to provide long-lasting performance and superior stopping power. There are also a range of pads available to suit many applications and driving styles.

A braking specialist will be able to recommend a Bendix product to best suit a driver’s needs. Through periodic inspection, a technician will also be able to diagnose any potential braking system concerns before they become an issue. Investing in quality components and professional service can not only leady to lower overall vehicle running costs but will increase vehicle stopping performance and safety.

Extending brake life 2

Professional service and periodic maintenance can extend the life or braking components and potentially diagnose issues before they arise.

To learn more, contact your local Bendix stockist, visit www.bendix.com.au/stockists

For further information:

For more information free call the Bendix Brake Advice Centre on 1800 819 666 or +61 3 5327 0211 from overseas (8am-5pm Monday to Friday EST), e-mail us at: brakeadvicecentre@bendix.com.au or visit our website www.bendix.com.au

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