The brakes on a diesel pickup truck can last anywhere from 3-7 years depending on usage. There are many reasons why your brake pads can wear out faster than they should. As Kitsap County’s most trusted diesel repair shop, our mechanics have seen it all. Here are a few tips that will help you expand the lifespan of your brake pads.
Speeding Wears Down Brakes Faster
You can protect your brakes (and yourself) by avoiding excessive speeds. Speeding requires more energy and therefore wears down brake material faster. Also, speeding generally causes slow-downs when you catch up to traffic, which causes you to use your brakes more often then you might if you stayed a reasonable distance from other drivers.
Another way to protect your brakes is to coast to your next stop. Gradually slowing down before stopping will put alot less force on your brakes and should extend their lifespan.
Sometimes carrying large amounts of weight is unavoidable, but you should try to minimize the weight you are carrying whenever possible. Overloaded trucks also require more pressure to your brakes and will wear down brake materials faster.
Shift Gears Downhill
Another great practice that will extend the lifespan of your brakes is “engine braking.” This
is achieved by shifting gears as you are going downhill. This will allow your engine to assist in the natural slow-down of your truck before braking, which takes a lot of pressure off your brakes. Just be sure that you don’t down-shift at too high of a speed and don’t skip gears. When not done properly, engine braking can put a lot of wear and tear on your engine.
Don’t Use Both Pedals At The Same Time
Sometimes folks keep one foot on the gas and one on the brakes, which can sometimes lead to both pedals be used at the same time. For the sake of your brakes, we recommend learning to use your right foot for both pedals. Pushing the gas and the brakes at the same time causes excess friction on the brake pads and will wear them down faster.
Spend The Extra Money For Good Brake Parts
You will get a much longer lifespan from your brakes if you are buying high-quality parts. We know that the economy isn’t great right now, but you will be paying much more in labor if your brakes need to be changed more frequently then you would if you spend on good products.
Use Your Exhaust Brake
If you have one equipped, use your exhaust brake when necessary. This will not only reduce wear and tear on your brakes but will also increase the life of your VGT/ VVA style turbochargers!
Finally, always be sure that your brakes are being installed correctly. Improper brake installation will cause your brakes to wear down quickly and unevenly. For best results and products, schedule an appointment with the professionals at Flying Wrench Services & Performance!