When you press down on the brake pedal in your vehicle, the brake system absorbs the kinetic energy created by the vehicle’s displacement. Friction is then created between the brake shoes and the brake drum to allow your vehicle to come to a complete stop. Over time, the heat produced during this process can cause your brake components to wear down.
Although drum brakes are less common than disc brakes, they can still be found on many vehicles. However, knowing when to replace brake drums can be complicated for many automobile owners.
If your car, truck, or SUV is showing signs of needing professional brake repair services to replace your drum brakes, continue reading below to learn more about the service and how Total Performance’s team of brake repair specialists in Tacoma, Washington can assist you.
The brake drum is a metal drum, typically cast iron or aluminum, that is bolted to and rotates with the wheel hub. Drum brakes consist of a wheel-mounted brake drum, a wheel cylinder, brake shoes, and brake return springs.
When you apply the brakes, the wheel cylinder’s pistons push the brake shoes against the brake drum using hydraulic force, causing friction and bringing the car to a stop. This differs from disc brakes, in which brake pads squeeze a brake rotor to stop the wheel.
Brake repair problems can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. If any of the following symptoms appear within your vehicle, it may be time for your drum brakes to be professionally serviced:
When the friction material on your brake shoes wears down, the shoe’s backing plate begins to grind against the brake drum. As a result, when you brake, you will hear a grinding or scraping noise. If left untreated, worn brake shoes can damage the surface of the brake drum in the same way that a worn brake pad can damage a brake rotor.
Parking Brake Failure
When parking on a slope, the parking brake relies on brake shoe pressure against the brake drum to keep the vehicle stationary. Parking brakes are frequently installed on the rear wheel, particularly in rear drum brakes. As a result, if there are problems with the rear drums or rear brake shoe pairs, engaging the parking brake will feel loose, causing your vehicle’s parking brake to slip.
Reduced Braking Power
When the brake lining or drum wears out, your vehicle will take longer to stop. Because there is less friction when you press the brake pedal, the brakes have to work harder. If your vehicle has drum brakes, this is often an indication that the brake shoes and drums need to be replaced as soon as possible.
Brake repair is one aspect of auto maintenance that no vehicle owner can afford to ignore. While drum brakes are frequently replaced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, if your brakes are showing any signs of premature wear, scheduling a service appointment can help keep you on the road longer and safer.
If you’re starting to notice any of the warning signs listed above, or if you are unsure if your car needs expert brake repair, stop by Total Performance in Tacoma, Washington, today for simple and affordable auto services. Our auto repair team knows all the ins and outs of brake repair and will inspect all aspects of your car’s brake system to ensure you’re driving the safest vehicle possible.