Brake maintenance is one of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership. Not only will replacing the pads make other brake components—including rotors—last longer, but it also reduces stress on your car. In the long run, regular maintenance can actually increase resale value, especially if documented by a site like CARFAX.
Changing your brakes can be easily performed by any mechanic; however, knowing when to take the vehicle in is vital. According to Cars.com, the life of your brakes varies depending on usage and where you are located. In urban areas, stop and go traffic means a shorter life. In town, 8,000 miles is a rough estimate of when to replace brakes, and in rural areas, you may go up to 25,000 miles. Unfortunately, there is no clear rule of thumb; however, a mechanic can check the thickness of brake pads and for wear or warping.
Many brakes have built-in sensors that scrape against the disc when they need replaced. This sounds like an annoying screeching sound. You should also listen for grinding and other squeaks that indicate your brakes are bad. Also, if your brake pedal pulses when you apply the brakes, it may be a sign that your rotors are warped.
What happens if you don’t replace your brakes? Aside from the obvious dangers that go along with greater stopping distance, taking care of your brakes early can prevent catastrophic damage. For example, letting your pads go too long will ruin rotors. Let rotors go, and shoes and linings can be easily damaged as well.
If you need brake work done on your car, bring it to Gossett VW!
Especially now that it’s starting to get cold and having tires with good traction is more important than ever, it’s time to start looking for signs your tires are bad or worn out.
Take a good look at your tires. There shouldn’t be any bulges, cracks, or gauges in the rubber; it’s a good idea to take it to your dealer to check for leaks. These are usually a sign of low tire pressure, which could indicate an air leak or just deflation.
An important thing to check is your tire tread. When it gets cold, you are definitely going to want tires with good tread! Not only do tires firm up more in the cold weather, which makes it harder for them to grip the ground, but tires with low tread are slicker on wet/icy roads as well.
Check your tire pressure regularly when it’s cold. Cold air reduces tire pressure, which reduces traction, so fill your tires up with more air whenever they need it. This is also important because driving on underinflated tires actually makes them wear faster.
Do yourself a favor and check your tires, folks!
One problem with drowsy driving is that people simply don’t understand just how dangerous it is. Every year there are 100,000 crashes that can be attributed to drowsy driving. Of those crashes, 71,000 people will sustain injuries and 1,550 people will lose their lives (NHTSA).
So what happens when you get drowsy behind the wheel? The effect mimics the effects of alcohol consumption. Your reaction times start to slow down and it becomes more difficult for your mind to process what’s happening. And that’s only when you get less than six hours’ sleep.
What should you do to avoid the dangers of drowsy driving? The best approach is a preventative approach. If you are tired, don’t drive. It is that simple.
Sometimes, it’s unavoidable or it comes on by surprise. On long trips, we are apt to push through even if we are getting tired. In those cases, try pulling over to take a 15-20 minute nap. If you must, drink some coffee or an energy drink. Just know that these beverages might cause you your energy level to plummet dramatically and suddenly.
We at Gossett VW want you to stay safe behind the wheel, even if that means taking a break from being behind the wheel!
Driving carefully around cyclists is so important because they lack the protection that a motor vehicle provides. What would be a fender bender with another car could seriously injure or kill a cyclist.
As we approach the end of summer, maybe you’ve already had some close calls with cyclists. To prevent any more from happening, we’ve thrown together some tips for sharing the road with cyclists.
Yield To Life, an organization that promotes safety concerning bicycles, explains how important it is to have patience around cyclists. If there is oncoming traffic or if you are unable to see ahead because of a curve or obstruction, simply wait to pass the cyclist in front of you.
When turning right, check your right side view mirror to see if there is a cyclist on your right that looks to be heading straight through the intersection.
When turning left, make sure that an oncoming cyclist is not riding straight through the intersection. Cyclists can often be hard to pick out in a busy intersection.
No cyclist appreciates getting “doored.” This happens when someone in a parked car opens the door to get out without checking their side view mirror first.
Overall, one of the best tips for sharing the road with cyclists to just to expect them. By expecting them and making an effort to look for them, you’ll never be surprised when they appear.