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Driving is a typical daily task for those trying to get to work, school, the grocery store or anywhere else. Cruising along is fun and games until the car in front of you slams on its brakes, causing a chain reaction for you and any vehicle behind you. Hitting the brakes once in a while won’t significantly harm your vehicle. However, constant sudden braking can impose these five unwanted adverse effects on your car.
1. Stressing the Brake Pads
Sometimes, you can’t help sudden braking, but one of the most detrimental effects on your car happens to your brake pads. Your brake pads are necessary because they create the friction needed to stop the vehicle. Friction creates heat, and hard braking stresses the brakes and suspension system significantly.
Your brakes wear every time you use them, and they’ll wear thin after heavy use. After a few years, you’ll notice your car can’t stop the same way it used to. After a while, your brakes can’t create the same amount of friction and heat they once did. So, sudden braking can wear your brakes faster and lead to brake pad replacement before you want to.
2. Flat Spotting the Tires
As mentioned above, sudden braking takes a toll on the brakes and the suspension. One place that may be more noticeable from outside the vehicle is your tires. Your brakes directly impact how your tires perform. Hard braking can lead to flat spots on the tire. You could blow out a tire if you don’t attend to the tires.
Picture a motorsports race when a car tries to get to the pit road. Sometimes, a driver will hit the brakes too late and try to overcompensate with hard braking. In this situation, they often lock up the brakes and cause one of the tires to flatten. A pit stop that was supposed to take fuel only becomes a more extended service because the driver needs to replace their tires.
3. Messing up Your Discount
Car insurance companies have developed programs to incentivize their customers to drive safely. For example, State Farm has the Drive Safe and Save option that monitors drivers and gives them a discount based on their driving habits. The device monitors speed, phone usage (because of the Bluetooth connection) and, of course, your braking habits. Sudden braking can negatively affect the discount you get on your car insurance. In addition to braking, you should be vigilant of your acceleration.
4. Harming the Drive Shaft
Hard braking takes a toll on the suspension, and the problems can spread elsewhere. One place you don’t want to harm is the drive shaft. This component of your vehicle is part of the drive train, and its purpose is to deliver torque so your vehicle can move. Depending on your car, you may have more than one drive shaft in your machine.
Drive shafts get your wheels turning, and their structure allows the tires to rotate in different directions. Hard braking can damage the drive shaft. In a worst-case scenario, your engine and the tires could become disconnected. At a minimum, you could feel vibrating during acceleration and hear rattling sounds when you turn the steering wheel.
5. Losing Control of the Car
The previous four negative effects of sudden braking happen over time, but what about in the short term? You may get away with hard braking now and then, but even once could be your unlucky day. Weather can create challenging road conditions because of rain, snow and storm damage. Losing control of your car could lead to an accident. And you could cause injury inside the car when the vehicle throws passengers forward and jerks them around.
Turn Sudden Braking Into Smooth Braking
Your car is a pride and joy in your life. Maintaining your vehicle for as long as possible is a high priority. Who wants to fork over money for a mechanic all the time? One way to extend the life of your car is by taking care of the brakes. Reduce the sudden braking, and your wallet will thank you later.
Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.