How do Drum Brakes Work?
A drum brake system consists of hydraulic wheel cylinders, brake shoes and a brake drum. When the brake pedal is applied the two curved brake shoes, which have a friction material lining, are forced by hydraulic wheel cylinders against the inner surface of a rotating brake drum. The result of this contact produces friction which enables the vehicle to slow down or stop.
How to tell if your drum brakes need replacing:-
- Inconsistent brake pedal feel. If the rear brakes are drum brakes, the driver may feel vibrations under braking. The initial bite when the brakes are still cold may be lacking. This is because the brake shoes are so worn that they cannot firmly press against the drum.
- Hand brake feels loose. If the hand brake requires a hard yank to keep the car from rolling off, chances are the brake shoes need replacing. On a steep incline, if the car moves an inch or so before coming to a rest, the drum or brake shoes would need to be inspected. There is a possibility it could be a loose hand brake cable, which is a much easier fix.
- Scraping noise while braking. When brake shoes are worn away so much that only the metal shoe platform remains, under braking you would hear a metallic scrapping noise. Once it is this severe, you may have to machine the drum or replace it all together.
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