In many states, the arrival of the fall signals the start of a long period of wet, cold and blustery weather. In most cases, modern cars are more than capable of dealing with wet and windy conditions. However, severe weather can drastically alter a car’s handling, and that includes the effectiveness of its brakes. While there will always be some conditions that are simply too dangerous to drive in, regular servicing and a modified driving style should ensure that your car’s brakes are up to the job.
How Can Weather Affect Brake Performance and Wear?
While modern cars are designed to perform in very low temperatures, they are usually most effective when they are warm, so it is usually a good idea to treat them with care during a particularly cold morning. Although cold weather shouldn’t directly interfere with a car’s braking distance, it can speed up the rate at which brake pads and disks deteriorate.
If you drive aggressively or if you’re driving in slippery conditions where you’re applying the brakes more than you normally would, your brakes can crack and wear more readily. Air, water and dirt can find a way into those cracks, and your brakes can freeze, leading to grinding noises and squeaks every time they’re applied. These noises could be a sign that your brakes are not working as effectively as they should. It is imperative that you have your car serviced regularly during cold, wet periods of weather and according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Giving Your Brakes a Helping Hand
The easiest way to take the pressure off your brakes is to slow down. Try to predict what is happening on the road ahead, so you reduce your reliance on your brakes. It is also a good idea to leave extra space between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Anti-lock braking systems are good at keeping a car from entering a skid, but you should remember not to continually pump the brakes – the ABS system will perform this function automatically when a skid is detected. You may also be able to lessen the burden on your brakes by driving in the drier tracks of the car in front of you during wet weather.
Of course, brakes have a lifespan, so the single most important task you can carry out in preparation for the fall weather is to have your car serviced by a professional. Although your brakes may be legally compliant, take the advice of a trusted auto repair shop. If your brakes are showing signs of wear and the weather forecast suggests deteriorating driving conditions are on their way, get them changed while your car is in the shop.
Car maintenance and timely repairs are key factors in reducing the chances of a collision, and that can have an effect on the Lawrenceville auto insurance premiums you pay. Call Guardian Insurance today at 855-464-8273, and one of our insurance agents will be happy to discuss all your auto insurance requirements.