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Brake Shoe (Rear) Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your rear brake shoe replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your rear brake shoe 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 rear brake shoes?

The average cost for rear brake shoes replacement is $254, including $61 for parts and $193 for labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The bill for parts includes new brake shoes, but might also involve new brake drums. As for the labor cost, it takes around 1.6 hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, determine whether a repair is necessary, and then perform a rear brake shoe replacement. 
Here’s how much you’ll pay to replace the rear brake shoes in some popular cars:
Brake drum replacement cost for various vehicles
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 27, 2024
Saturn Astra
$167
$74
$94
1.0 Hours
May 21, 2024
Genesis G80
$179
$74
$105
1.0 Hours
May 18, 2024
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
$215
$74
$141
1.0 Hours
May 15, 2024
Nissan Sentra
$194
$74
$120
1.0 Hours
May 15, 2024
Mercedes-Benz ML
$195
$74
$122
1.0 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 rear brake shoe replacement and how much do they cost?

Because your brake system is subject to a lot of wear and tear, your mechanic might discover that your car needs more than just new brake shoes when they take a look. The parts list for a rear brake shoe replacement may include:
  1. Rear brake shoes ($25-$72): When you press the brake pedal, the brake shoes, which are curved metal plates coated in friction material, press against the inside of the drums and slow the wheels. A pair of stiff return springs pushes them back in place. The rear brakes of a vehicle are usually drum brakes, while the front brakes—which take the brunt of your car’s weight—are disc brakes.
  2. Rear brake drums
    ($20-$275): Brake drums are shaped like pans and are subject to a lot of friction and pressure. When you press the brake pedal, the hydraulic wheel cylinder inside the drum forces the curved rear brake shoes against the drum's lining.
  3. Rear brake wheel cylinders
    ($8-$820): Brake wheel cylinders are composed of pistons, sleeves, gaskets, and other tough parts. They have to withstand both the hydraulic pressure of brake fluid and the frictional pressure of keeping the brake shoes pressed against the brake drum lining. Unsurprisingly, they’re susceptible to wear.
  4. Brake hose
    ($5-$350): Although they’re made of strong rubber or steel, the brake hoses (or brake lines) that transfer fluid from the brake master cylinder can also fail. While inspecting the brake assembly, your mechanic may discover a leaking brake hose or rubber seal that needs to be replaced.
  5. Brake fluid
    ($5-$40): Brake fluid is the thin, oil in your vehicle’s braking system. Ask your mechanic to top it up while they’re looking at your brake shoes to keep everything working properly.
We recommending purchasing these parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. We also recommend reputable brands such as ACDelco, Raybestos, and Dorman offer quality components for rear brakes, while trusted brake fluid brands include DOT 3, DOT 4, and Castrol.
Keep in mind: While inspecting your rear brake shoes, your mechanic may discover that you also need new brake drums, brake wheel cylinders, or brake fluid. 
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts cost more than aftermarket parts, but they often come with a better warranty. For example, Toyota rear brake shoes come with a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty if they’re installed by a certified Toyota mechanic.
You can buy new brake shoes at automotive body and parts shops like Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, dealerships, and from online retailers like RockAuto and AutoZone. If you prefer OEM parts, you can also try your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Honda, Nissan, and just about every other car maker sell OEM parts online. Check your owner’s manual for any crucial specifications so you don’t buy the wrong part.

Where can I get my rear brake shoe replaced?

Finding the right place to get your rear brake shoe 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.
157 Reviews
Harrell's Auto Service - Raeford
address
8038 Raeford Rd, Fayetteville, NC
Brake Shoe Replacement (Rear)
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$215
(Parts - $70, Labor - $145)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$129.99
182 Reviews
Motorly
address
(Mobile auto service), Port Murray, NJ
Brake Shoe Replacement (Rear)
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$208
(Parts - $70, Labor - $138)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$115
155 Reviews
Goodyear Auto Service - New Detroit Center
address
3075 E Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI
Brake Shoe Replacement (Rear)
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$208
(Parts - $70, Labor - $138)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$110
177 Reviews
54th Street Auto Center
address
415 W 54th St, New York, NY
Brake Shoe Replacement (Rear)
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$282
(Parts - $70, Labor - $212)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$191
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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 does a mechanic replace rear brake shoes?

A rear brake shoe replacement requires some basic equipment, a moderate amount of mechanical knowledge, and high attention to detail. Here’s how the pros do it:
  1. Preparation: To get at the brake drums of a vehicle, a mechanic must first release the emergency brake, jack up the rear wheels, and place chocks under the front wheels.
  2. Disassembly: The mechanic will loosen the lug nuts of the wheel and take apart the rear brake assembly.
  3. Inspection: After using brake cleaner to clear out any brake dust or dirt, the mechanic will inspect the brake shoes to see if they’re contaminated or worn out. They’ll also check the brake wheel cylinder, drum lining, brake lines, brake springs, backing plates, and parking brake cable.
  4. Replacement: The mechanic will replace the rear brake shoes and any other faulty parts. 
  5. Reassembly: After applying some lubricant, the mechanic will reassemble the rear brakes.

Do I need to replace the rear brake shoes?

Each time your vehicle's brakes are engaged, a small amount of friction material is worn off, leaving the rear brake shoes thinner over time. The rear brake adjuster (a threaded bolt) will compensate by loosening and filling the gap between the rear brake shoes and drum, but it can’t last forever.
If the shoes aren’t replaced, the friction material may wear away entirely, leaving the bare steel drum shoes to grind against the brake wheel cylinder and drum. The self adjuster will be useless. Not only will this affect your vehicle’s braking power, but it could also cause significant damage to the rear brake assembly.

What is a rear brake shoe replacement?

A rear brake shoe replacement is a straightforward service involving disassembly, inspection, replacement, and reassembly. Your rear brake system—including the brake wheel cylinder, rear brake drum, and brake lines—are what gets disassembled and reassembled. Your brake shoes are the parts that must be inspected (and possibly replaced). 
While the rear brakes of a vehicle don’t take as much heat as the front ones, they’re still subject to wear and tear. Getting new rear brake shoes keeps your vehicle at peak efficiency and prevents damage from spreading to other braking components.

When should I replace my rear drum brake shoes?

You should have your brake shoes checked once a year as part of a brake service. A few tell-tale signs indicate it's time to replace your rear brake shoes:
  1. Your brake warning light is on
  2. You hear noise from your rear brakes, specifically squeaking or scraping
  3. Your hand brake doesn’t hold or feels lose
  4. The car shakes when braking
If you suspect your brake shoes need replacing, it’s best to get them checked out immediately before any safety issues (or more expensive problems) have time to develop.
The bottom line: If you notice your brake warning light is on, your car shakes while braking, or your brakes squeak or scrape, it’s time for an inspection.

How long should a rear brake shoe last?

You’ll probably need to replace your rear brake shoes after 30,000–35,000 miles of city driving. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a city with little congestion and mostly green traffic lights, your rear brake shoes could last 80,000 miles or more.

Is it easy to replace brake shoes?

Replacing the rear shoes isn’t the easiest DIY brake job. It doesn’t require any special equipment: just a jack stand, a tire iron, some needle-nose pliers, and a screwdriver. However, you need a moderate amount of automotive know how to replace rear drum brakes. 
It’s important to note that drum brakes are more difficult to assemble than disc brakes, even if you’ve previously replaced your own brake pads or brake calipers.

FAQs

Yes, you should replace brake shoes in pairs. Unless your car’s wheels are severely misaligned (or you’ve been driving on a broken wheel bearing), both your rear brake shoes should wear out at the same time. If one fails, the other isn’t far behind.
The front brakes take the brunt of the vehicle’s weight when you press the brake pedal. Think of how you and your passengers lean forward in your seats when you come to a sudden stop—this force (known as inertia) places greater pressure on the front brakes than the rear. As a result, front brakes usually use an efficient disc brake system (with brake rotors and brake pads), while rear brakes use a cheap drum brake system (with drums and brake shoes).
Most brake shoes are sold in sets of four. That’s not to say you have to replace all four of them at once—while it’s a good idea to replace brake shoes in pairs, you may save the second pair for another time.

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.