Four Signs That Bad Brake Drums Are (& Their Replacement Cost)

The health of your car’s braking system is vital for your on-road safety. Brake drums are an integral part of your car's braking system. You need to pay close attention to warning signs. This system should be immediately addressed if you notice signs of brake drum failure.

Here are four things to watch out for. The guide also explains what brake drums are and how to locate them. The guide also discusses the approximate cost to replace your brake drums. Let’s begin with a quick look at the signs:

Bad brake drums are most noticeable when the vehicle is braking. Reduced braking performance may be another sign. It could be an indication that your parking brake is not working properly.

This is an extensive list of possible signs that a brake drum may be defective.

Índice de Contenido
  1. Bad Brake Drums: Symptoms
    1. 1. Problem Stopping
    2. 2. Brake noise
    3. 3. Vibrating brake pedal
    4. 4. Lockable Parking Brake
  2. Brake Drum Location
  3. What a Brake Drum Does
  4. Brake drum replacement cost

Bad Brake Drums: Symptoms

1. Problem Stopping

Car Brake Distance

You expect your car to stop quickly when you press the brake pedal. The stopping time for your vehicle will increase as the drums wear. If the car isn’t stopping as it once did, it could be an issue with either the drums or the brake shoes.

Your car might have both brake drums in the rear and front wheels. Because both can cause problems with stopping, you might not be able to identify which one is the problem. 

2. Brake noise

Noise From Car

Normal brake operation should produce no strange sounds when the foot touches the pedal. The brakes will become more louder with time. 

Bad brake drums are unable to absorb heat from braking. Heat builds up and causes more stress on brakes. This can lead to scraping noises when your shoes touch drums. 

3. Vibrating brake pedal

Brake Pedal Push

Performance issues will also develop as your brake drums wear down. Some vibrations might occur when the pedal is pressed down to brake the car. It's possible to not pay attention at first, particularly if there are no other symptoms.

This early warning sign may be trying to alert you. You can avoid a lot more trouble by replacing the brake drums before other issues occur. This will ensure that you have maximum stopping power. 

RELATED : 5 Reasons Your Brake Pedal Falls to the Floor when Engine Runs or Starts

4. Lockable Parking Brake

Pull Parking Brake

Most vehicles have the parking brake on the rear wheels. These are also the most common locations for brake drums. Reliable brake drums are required for the parking brake to work properly and keep your vehicle safe when it is applied. 

They might lack the necessary holding power to hold your vehicle in its place if the drums have become worn. You might feel a bit loose when applying the parking brake at first. You might also notice a slight slippage after applying the brake. 

Brake Drum Location

Because the drum brakes are usually found at rear wheels, they can also be found there. The brake drums, which are made from metal and circular in shape, can be found on the rear wheels. It’s also where the brake shoes are housed.

The drum brakes rotate with the wheel, and they are connected to both the hubs. But they're only part of the entire drum braking system. The typical system includes brake shoes that press against the drums, and a backing plate which holds everything together. The system also has the brake cylinder with the pistons attached and return springs that alter the position when the brakes aren’t applied. 

Related: 4 Signs that your brake shoes are worn or defective

What a Brake Drum Does

Brake Drums

The hydraulic brake fluid pushes the brake shoes into place when you press the pedal. The shoes will push into the drums, which causes the wheels to stop spinning and slow down. 

After you have released the brake pedal the return springs will allow the shoes to move back in their original positions. This allows the wheel to move again freely without your shoes pressing on it. 

Adjustment is necessary as the brake shoe's surface becomes less durable. If the position is not adjusted, then the brake shoes won't be able to reach the drum. 

Brake drum replacement cost

Brake drum replacement costs typically range from $200 to $250. Parts alone cost between $150 to $200 and labor is usually around $250. You can make a little money if you replace your drums yourself. If you're upgrading to higher-performance drums, then aftermarket drums are less expensive than OEM models. 

Drum brakes don't need replacement often and are capable of lasting up to 200k miles if maintained correctly. Brake drums can be purchased individually, or as part of an installation kit that includes the required hardware and two wheels. 

If you are replacing the drum brakes on one side, it’s often advised to do the same on the other side. Wear to one drum brake can lead to wear on the other. It’s best to keep the performance of both drum brakes the same.

You should also consider replacing the brake drums.

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