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Brakes are a critical safety component and are going to have to be replaced from time to time. Brake life is highly variable, depending very much on where and how you drive–someone who does mainly stop-and-go driving in town, for example, will go through brakes faster than someone who spends most of their time on the highway. Someone who jumps on the brakes hard, or drives with one foot on the brake pedal, will go through brakes faster than someone who stops more gently or does not ride the brake pedal. Folks who tow will go through brakes faster than those who don’t. In a very real sense, your driving habits and conditions determine how often you’re going to go through your brakes. You should have your brakes checked at each tire rotation; using the same service facility each time to have that done makes it easier to keep track of how they’re wearing and it’s more likely they’ll catch a sudden change or be able to warn you that you’re getting close to replacement. n terms of brake service, always buy the best brake parts you can–your safety literally depends on them.
Typically premium parts like major brand brake pads and shoes last longer, can offer better fade resistance under heavy use, and usually produce less noise and dust than bargain brands.  Make sure the products are installed correctly and that your associated brake hardware is either replaced or properly serviced as needed.  Also, be aware that with many vehicles your brake fluid also has recommended change intervals.  With the computer controlled pumps and valves capable of cycling your brakes 4-6 times each second in an anti-lock brake system, brake fluid that’s breaking down or high in moisture content can do a lot of expensive damage to those precision components as well as adversely affecting your traditional components like brake calipers (these squeeze the pads against the rotors), wheel cylinders (which push shoes out against the drums) and the brake lines as well.  As with other fluid changes like oil, brake fluid changes are far less expensive that mechanical repairs and so are a good investment towards a longer and less expensive service life for your vehicle.

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