How Do Drum Brakes Work?

Drum brakes play a crucial role when it comes to stopping your car. It is quite an intricate system made of such components as a brake drum, backing plate, brake shoe, and wheel cylinder. A drum brake uses the wheel cylinder to apply pressure on the brake shoes or pads, pressing them against the inside of the cylinder-shaped brake drum. This will slow down the wheels and eventually stop your car. Suffice to say, drum brakes are exposed to lots of heat which ultimately wear them out, calling for a replacement.


Self-Applying Features


Drum brakes are equipped with a self-applying (self-energizing) mechanism. The drum rotation will drive one or both shoes into the friction ground making the brakes grip harder, thereby enhancing the stopping power. This makes it easier for the driver to moderate the braking power.


Ideally, your drums are supposed to last for 200,000 miles. All the same, this is bound to vary, especially if there are more worn-out components in your vehicle that might overwork the brakes. As they wear down, they tend to reduce in size, which reduces their efficiency and reliability. Your mechanic will help you measure the drums to determine whether it only needs turning or replacing altogether.


Telltale Signs That You Need to Replace Your Drum Brakes


Driving with a worn-out or inefficient brake drum might end up damaging the brake shoes and, with time, the entire braking system. It is therefore crucial that you talk to our mechanics as soon as you notice any of the following signs of failing drum brakes on your car.


  • A strange brake pedal feel
  • The parking brake becomes loose
  • Scraping noises every time, you engage your brakes
  • Your car pulls to one side whenever you press your brakes
  • The back of your car might also shake up any time you try to brake


Your car braking system is an overly integral safety component. We, therefore, recommend that you always have it inspected, repaired, and replaced accordingly and in good time. This will guarantee you smoother, more confident, and safer drives on the highway.


If you need drum brake service or repair, trust us for quality services that will exceed your expectations. Contact us or visit our auto repair shop today.

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