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Brake Drum Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your brake drum replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your brake drum replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a brake drum?

On average, a brake drum replacement costs around $446, with parts averaging $171 and labor averaging $275. However, that’s just an estimate—the exact price will vary based on your vehicle's make and model.
How long does it take to replace a brake drum? A certified mechanic generally takes about 2.3 hours to replace your brake drum. Your mechanic will first determine whether it needs to be replaced or resurfaced and then complete the removal and installation of a new drum.
Here’s an overview of the brake drum replacement costs for different vehicles:
Brake drum replacement cost for various vehicles
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 27, 2024
Chrysler 200
$335
$162
$173
1.5 Hours
May 27, 2024
Mazda 3
$349
$162
$188
1.5 Hours
May 24, 2024
Genesis G70
$317
$162
$155
1.5 Hours
May 19, 2024
Infiniti Q50
--
$162
--
1.5 Hours
May 16, 2024
Oldsmobile Intrigue
$348
$162
$186
1.5 Hours
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for a brake drum replacement and how much do they cost?

You can check with your owner's manual if you’re unsure exactly what you need for a brake drum replacement. Aside from a few basic tools and a brake adjuster tool, you’ll only need a new brake drum.
On average, new brake drums cost between $50 and $100, but prices vary based on the brand.
The brake drum is a cylindrical drum attached to the top inside of a car’s wheel. It surrounds a set of brake shoes coated in a material that generates friction. Similar to brake pads and rotors, drum brakes work by pressing brake shoes against the brake drum, generating friction and slowing the car.
We recommend purchasing these parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts, as well as online platforms like Amazon and RockAuto. We also recommend trusted brands such as Centric Parts, Wagner, and Raybestos.
When it’s time to replace your brake drum, cost can be a big deciding factor in what parts you buy. While aftermarket brake drums may offer a similar product for a lower cost, OEM parts are typically built to OE specifications and with higher-quality materials designed for durability.
That said, OEM brake drums aren’t completely necessary here. Aftermarket parts, especially components involved with the brake system, are manufactured to high standards. In most cases, they’ll fit like the original parts but may use different materials to produce them. 
If saving money is at the top of your list, aftermarket brake drums will do the trick.
You can purchase brake drums through auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts. Online websites like Amazon and RockAuto also carry several types of brake drums. Just be sure that if you’re ordering online, you order to the proper specifications of your vehicle—double-check with your vehicle’s owner's manual before ordering.

Where can I get my brake drum replaced?

Finding the right place to get your brake drum replaced can be tricky—especially if you don’t have a trusted mechanic to turn to. Luckily,Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can help you compare costs for the services you need from over 2,500 reputable repair shops across the country. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates from shops using their actual hourly labor rate. Jerry's GarageGuard™ will also let you know if you need to budget for diagnostic fees and show you reviews from real customers to help you choose the best service.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
119 Reviews
RepairSmith - Orange County

Brake Drum Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$425
(Parts - $111, Labor - $314)
182 Reviews
United Alignment Tire Center
address
11251 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Brake Drum Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$343
(Parts - $111, Labor - $232)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
174 Reviews
Yoo's Auto Service & Collision
address
189 W Duncannon Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Brake Drum Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$343
(Parts - $111, Labor - $232)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$100
109 Reviews
Logan's Automotive Mobile Service
address
2000 Towne Park Dr, McDonough, GA
Brake Drum Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$289
(Parts - $111, Labor - $178)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$65
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my brake drums?

There are two options for brake drum services: the drum can be replaced entirely or resurfaced. However, in both cases, the mechanic will be removing and installing the brake drum with the following steps:
  • Raise the vehicle and support it with steel jack stands
  • Remove tire and wheel assembly
  • Remove brake drum—rusted drum may require a brake drum puller
  • Measure the interior diameter of the machined surface in the drum
  • Replace all worn parts—if the drum is replaced or resurfaced, the brake shoes should be replaced
  • Adjust shoes and install the drum
  • Install wheel and tire assemble and torque in the proper sequence
  • Road test the car to check the brakes

What happens if I don’t replace my brake drums?

Brake drums are an essential component of the braking system, and not replacing worn or bad brake drums can be dangerous to you and the cars around you, as the brakes will not be fully functional. 
Not replacing brake drums when worn or damaged can also lead to issues with other braking system components. For example, the wheel cylinders can develop leaks. However, the biggest concern is the brake drums becoming overworn and the inability to supply the necessary force to stop the vehicle.

What is a brake drum replacement?

When getting a brake drum replacement service, the mechanic will assess the vehicle’s brake drums to confirm that a replacement is needed. The brakes need brake drums to function, as the brake drums cause the car to slow down. 
Brake drums fully enclose all the rear brake components, such as the wheel cylinder, springs and clips, brake shoes, and parking brake mechanism.
If a brake drum is cracked or warped, it can severely affect your vehicle’s braking effectiveness, which can be a safety concern on the road.

How do I know if my brake drums need replacing?

If your braking effectiveness has reduced, it might be time to replace the brake drum.
Other common symptoms that may indicate the need for a brake drum service include:
  • Pulsating brakes
  • The vehicle is pulling to one side
  • Vibration, grinding, or scraping noise
  • Low brake pedal
  • If a brake shoe requires replacement 
  • Loss of parking brake function
  • Spongy or soft brake pedal

How often should brake drums be replaced?

Brake drums are only used when your car’s brakes are applied, which means they’re durable and built to last. Despite generating slightly more friction than disc brakes, on average, brake drums should be replaced every 150,000 to 200,000 miles. In some cases, the brake drums may wear out sooner due to worn-out internal components that add strain on the drum.
Most often, brake drums must be replaced in pairs, even if only one is worn or broken. During a replacement, other brake system components will be inspected to ensure the drum hasn’t damaged anything else.

Can I replace my brake drums myself?

As with many other brake system components, if you’re car-savvy and like a DIY challenge, you can replace your brake drums at home with a few simple tools. However, if you’re not familiar with the brake system and don’t have much automotive knowledge, it’s best to let a professional do it.

FAQs

The average cost to replace brake drums is around $$446 for a complete replacement. Labor costs average $$275, while parts are about $$171.
Brake drums are durable and designed to last up to 200,000 miles, and replacing them is an easy job if you have some automotive knowledge and have the right tools and supplies on hand.
Yes—if you need to replace your brake drums, you must replace both sides of the axle to prevent issues with the braking system. For example, if one of the rear wheels drum brake cracks, you’ll need to replace both sides to prevent issues with braking performance. 
To avoid replacing your brake drums early, keep them clean to prevent rusting, as the friction side of the brake drum should be free of scratches and cracks for the vehicle to brake efficiently.
Some of the most common problems with brake drums include:
  • Scratched drums: Causes a vibrating brake pedal
  • Out-of-round drums: Causes vibration of the brake pedal and poor brake system performance
  • Blue drums: Turns blue when it overheats and leads to warming or cracking during use
  • Martensite spotted drums: Exposure to excessive heat leads to the development of small cracks on the surface and a vibrating brake pedal
  • Polished drums: If the brake drum gets too hot, the lining can become glazed, causing the brake shoes to produce insufficient friction to slow down or stop a vehicle

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.