Your Brakes: Why Do Yours Keep Wearing Out?

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Braking systems don't last forever, and brake pads will make your brakes whine and squeal when they are worn out, indicating it's time to have brake service done. Your brakes should last you a long time, so if you're finding yourself in need of brake service almost as often as you get your oil changed, then you need to take a closer look at your vehicle and driving habits. From wheel alignment issues to the way you drive in general, here are reasons why your brakes might keep wearing out prematurely.

You use your brakes a lot

Some people use their brakes more than other people, for various reasons. If you live on a hill, for example, or regularly travel through a mountain pass to get to and from work, you likely ride your brakes more than other people who might have more freeway miles in their commute. You can help reduce the wear and tear on your brakes by shifting to a lower gear when you go down a mountain grade — refer to your owner manual guide to see what gears are best for down-shifting in an automatic or manual for this purpose.

To reduce the amount of wear and tear on your brakes that cause you to get more frequent brake service, consider parking at the bottom of hills rather than the top, driving a new way to get to work or school rather than via winding roads, and following other drivers with more distance so you don't have to brake as much. Your brake service technician can also help you reduce your brake usage.

You have poor wheel alignment

Your brakes, tires, and tire alignment all work together to make your vehicle operate more effectively. If your car is in need of alignment, it will pull one direction or another and you'll have uneven wear on your tires as well as your brakes. You may even find that you have to get your tires changed out at around the same time you need to have your brake service done, and this is likely not a coincidence; the next time you have your brakes checked, have your brake specialist see if a wheel alignment is necessary as well.

If your car vibrates when you apply the brakes, makes squealing or grinding sounds, or appears slow to respond when you apply the brakes, see your brake service technician right away. If you fear you have a brake fluid issue, discontinue driving your car until you have had this problem checked out.