Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Proper braking

When my wife is approaching a red light or a stop sign she lets our CRV approach the light quite fast, & then applies the brake fairly hard in order to stop.

My way when I see a red light or stop sign ahead is to let off the gas & brake lightly so when I reach the red light I only have to brake very lightly to stop.We drive a 2006 Honda CRV.

Which way would you say wears the brake pads the least?

I Vote For Your Coasting Method, No Contest.

Coasting prior to braking allows the wind resitance and rolling friction to do part of the brake system’s job. Braking from a nearly full cruise puts almost all the stopping responsibility on the brakes, creating more heat and wear.

Brake pads aren’t the only thing feeling the heat from this type of driving. There’s brake rotors, tires, and fuel economy takes a hit.

I like to drive, operate boats, and fly airplanes by using gradual pressures on controls whenever possible, you know, just try and maintain an even strain, no harsh or sudden movements except in an emergency. Also, your anticipating stops is an excellent idea.

Did your wife ever work for Joey Chitwood’s Thrill Drivers?


Are you sure you’re not talking about my wife? She gets mad at me when she’s driving because I brace myself against the passenger side floor and dashboard when she’s stopping from speed. It’s not that I like bracing myself; it’s a necessity.

My braking habits are just like yours and my vote is also for you.

There is far more important things than saving brake pad wear.

If you just want to save wear on the brake pads, you want to lock the brakes so the tyres are skidding. Of course this will result in more tyre wear and cost you more in the long run.

Another side to consider is fuel. Coasting towards the light with your foot off the gas will result in using no fuel at all until you get to the light. That will save you the most both in brake pads and fuel.

Next factor is safety. Slowing early is the safest. Safety is the most important factor generally, but frankly the difference is small. In addition most passengers are more comfortable by easing off the accelerator.

Finally there is the not insignificant personal issue. A happy wife is worth a few brake shoes. Arguing over how to drive, when the differences are not major safety issues, is a poor idea.

I agree with all of the other points mentioned so far, but I want to add another thought:

If your wife has gotten into this habit of late braking, just imagine what will happen on the day that the roadway is more slippery than she thought, and she cannot stop in the short distance that she has allowed for braking.

I sure hope that you have very good liability insurance coverage. Or, if you are not heavily insured, I really hope that she does not drive in my vicinity.

Wow, I haven’t heard of Joie since seeing his act in the 50’s at the Jennerstown speedway. I thought he faded into history until discovering that Joie III is now running the show, with Joie IV in the wings to take over in a couple of years. His show was pretty heady stuff at that time.

Your braking habits will make the pads last much longer. Her braking habits are hard on the pads and rotors.

However, I suggest you keep your mouth shut about this. You’ll never convince her.

Have you considered separate vehicles?

Your way is better for the car.

Accepting her doing it her way is better for the marriage.

I’m not gonna be the one to tell her! You may wnat to recnsider also.

I fail to see how fuel economy would take a hit. If the light is red you’re going to have to stop either way. If they both let off the gas at the same time, but the wife just brakes later (letting the car coast further up to the light). The same amount of fuel will be used.

Your way is better.

When I discovered my girlfriend drove this way, and that she considered stop signs “optional,” I decided not to let her do the driving with me in the car anymore. We get along much better now that I do the driving.

Not only will this wear out the brakes sooner, it will make them hotter and will warp the rotors. In addition, if there is brake failure, you will discover it soon enough to do something about it. Your wife, on the other hand, will either plunge into the car in front of her or into the intersection.

If you can’t convince her to change, you will have to assume the driving responsibilities, which means always being the designated driver when you go to parties.

Your method is correct.

I wonder if your wife stops (or tries to) like that on ice?

I seriously doubt they both let off the gas at the same time. The wife is probably keeping her foot on the gas longer.

Add to that additional stress on suspension components and tires, and the cost of driving aggressively like this can add up.

After driving on snow and ice a lot, I go easy on the brakes as a habit. I saw too many cars fly through snow stops because they thought it was just as easy to stop. People who don’t have a car and haven’t driven in months will borrow a car in January…

Stopping fast is one of the causes of worn ball joints, worn cv joints, warped rotors, worn hardware, stalling, worn and broken engine mounts, bad tires and leaking master cylinders. Master cylinders have quit while bleeding brakes, so I recommend taking it easy.

Get a five year old in a booster seat and the child will protest every time the driver stops too hard. I use the passengers as guides; when they complained in the past, I revised my driving and it has been worthwhile.

My wife also has driving habits that aren’t the best for a car’s longevity. But in the overall scheme of things, as others have noted, a happy wife and marriage is far more important than any vehicle. Let it go.

Life is way too short to fight over brakes with your partner about car brakes. They are so easily replaceable.

Let it go.

FoDaddy, I Was Thinking Along The Same Line As Whitey, Whereby The Wife Stays On The Gas Longer Than Hubby, Unnecessarily.

Condos states, " . . . she lets our CRV approach the light quite fast, & then applies the brake fairly hard in order to stop." and "My way when I see a red light or stop sign ahead is to let off the gas . . . "

In order for her to approach quite fast, as opposed to not as fast, she has to have the throttle opened longer.

The difference in MPG may not be very significant, depending on how many intersections we’re talking about, but my point was that when considered together with extra wear and tear, it all adds up.


Andrew, Life Is Short. However, I, For One, Don’t Consider Partners As Being Easily Replaceable. Brakes Are Much More Easily replaced.


Heck, don’t they all drive that way??

Considering the number of tail gaiters and those drivers that expect you not to stop at a stop sign…I always start applying the brakes well before I anticipate stopping…this is a survival technique…brake pads are cheaper than a rear end collision.

It is not hard braking that wastes fuel and wears out brakes fast, it is not taking the foot off the accel pedal at the optimum time.

Who needs brakes as long as the horn works?