I want my brakes to last forever!

Will my brakes last longer if i dont use them when i go over bumps in the road? I live in Cleveland and there are lots of bumps, of course. But I always try not to use my brakes when i go over bumps in the road. And it seems they last longer. And I only rear-ended someone one time!

Why would you use brakes when going over bumps? Do you mean using brakes to slow before hitting a bump? The answer to that is to start slowing earlier so you can be going slow before you get to the bump. Any time you use the brakes you are wasting fuel.

Of course the wear on brakes for stopping on time is far cheaper than front end repairs on your car and repairs to the other one. Planning ahead is the answer.

And it seems they last longer. And I only rear-ended someone one time!

Is this a serious question or are you wasting our time?

Achy brakey Bumps

How does it seem they last longer if you don’t use them? You say you try not to. What are you comparing?

It seems that in trying to get an answer that you don’t have, you’ve already answered your own question.

Also, could you please give a list of the roads you drive and a schedule of when you are on them. This would be a great service to all of us.


Tom & Ray had a post in the morning paper on the importance of slowing down BEFORE a bump, to save the suspension from damage and rapoid wear.

Slowing down is ususally done first by taking your foot off the gas pedal, then APPLYING THE BRAKES as needed!

As per other posters, I wonder what your rationale is for having the brakes " last forever". Smart drivers are less dysfuntional in their behavior, and drive carefully, look AHEAD for obstacles, and drive smoothly to save both their brakes and suspension system.

Some years ago, Popular Mechanics did an article on long lived cars. One driver got fabulous life out of his brakes by doing the above; he always looked several blocks ahead, drove smoothly, and used his brakes as needed. His suspension parts also lasted a long time.

Also, some years back, a Car & Driver journalist took a trip with Jackie Stewart, the British champion racing driver. He said the trip was rather boring; Jackie hardly had to use his brakes, since he saw several blocks ahead, and found all the holes in the traffic.

What other posters and I are trying to tell you, is to learn to put some planning into your diving, and to use common sense, a wonderful commodity which you might appreciate once you practice it!

My old man always used to admonish me for being on the brakes while going over big bumps - the theory being that pressurising the brake hose while asking it to flex will cause a bit more stress to the hose and wear it out faster. Of course, he was like that about any sort of incremental wear. This, however, has nothing to do with brake pad wear.

This is NUTS…Why would ANYONE want to make their brakes last forever?? I don’t see any benefit in this what-so-ever.

Less than 40 mpg make sure you’re not in overdrive and your natural engine braking ( when you let off the gas ) will be more effective. At higher speeds, braking to slow a whole 2 mph is useless wear on your brakes and slamming on the brakes to slow more causes massive headaches to the teaffic behind you and does much more wear to the brakes. The best advice is to drive ahead of yourself more efficiently, slowing with the accelerator or steering around. This will also make for a smoother drive in general resulting in better mpg…or , yaba-daba-doo, cut two holes in the floor and buy thick shoes ;))

I think you are nuts. If you are trying to save your brakes for financial reasons; having rear-ended someone already blew that out of the water.

If you are trying to save your breaks because you have some crazy fetish that not even the internet has heard about or want to get into the book of world records; then drive slow let go of the gas when you see red lights, either on streetlights or cars, and break easily.

Want your brakes to last forever? Leave the car at home and use public transportation. Maybe Cleveland will be a little safer without you behind the wheel.

I am assuming that what you are referring to is slowing down to a slow walk when going over parking lot speed bumps instead of hitting them going 10~15 mph with a big bang. If that’s the case, don’t worry too much. A single 60 mph stop equals four 30 mph stops and equals sixteen 15 mph stops in terms of brake wear. Drive so that you don’t have to routinely nail the brakes at 60 mph and your brake life will be much higher than normal. If you drive so that you only use the brakes to scrub off that last 15~20 mph left over after coasting off most of your momentum, your brakes will last nearly forever.

I’m rollin,.

my suggestion is to use the car as a coffee table.

Yeah, save the brakes and kill your shocks. Trying not to stop for red light actually will help your brakes and mileage alot more. If you really don’t wanna brake for bumps, stay off the gas long before you get there. When you’re going over the bump, goose the gas a bit to lift up the front end. Then let go to lift up the rear.

don’t use the brakes at bumps and you will do suspension damage among other things. If you park the car and take the bus your brakes will last a long time.

A single 60 mph stop equals four 30 mph stops and equals sixteen 15 mph stops in terms of brake wear.

That’s interesting and good to know! Do you know where you heard those stats? (Does this assume you get twice the distance to stop at 60mph as 30mph?) I’ve been trying to figure out what could be causing the 4:1 ratio… is it the increasing temperature of the brake pads causing them to wear faster??

I’ve found this page that shows that doubling your speed increases your stopping distance by three times (look at the chart with the 75 foot line, and the football field chart):


Thanks if anyone has any sources for more info…


Just simple high school physics. Kinetic energy = 1/2 mass X velocity squared. Doubling an object’s velocity quadruples the energy of motion.

Don’t believe it? Weigh the gunpowder in a .22 long rifle cartriage and compare it to how much gunpowder a .22 hornet has in it.