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Emergency/Parking Brake Shoe Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your emergency/parking brake shoe replacement? Use Jerry's GarageGuard to get a fair cost estimate for your emergency/parking 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 an emergency/parking brake shoe?

The average cost for an emergency parking brake shoe replacement is $290, including $70 for parts and $221 for labor. The exact price will depend on your vehicle’s year and model.
The cost of parts includes a new emergency brake shoe, and maybe a new brake cable as well. As for the labor cost, it takes around 1.8 hours for a certified mechanic to inspect your vehicle, determine whether a repair is necessary, and then perform an emergency parking brake shoe replacement. 
Here’s how much you’ll pay for an emergency parking brake shoe replacement for popular vehicle models:
Estimate DateCustomerCarFair Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostLabor Time
May 24, 2024
Mercedes-Benz C
$320
$121
$199
1.8 Hours
May 21, 2024
Mitsubishi Lancer
$243
$56
$186
1.8 Hours
May 16, 2024
Cadillac SRX
$271
$63
$207
1.8 Hours
May 16, 2024
Subaru Outback
$287
$63
$224
1.8 Hours
May 13, 2024
Volkswagen Tiguan
$296
$56
$240
1.8 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 my emergency/parking brake shoe replacement?

Your emergency/parking brake is a simple, non-hydraulic system used to activate your vehicle’s rear drum brake system. If you’ve got a worn-out parking brake shoe, the other components of your emergency brake system could also be in trouble. 
Your repair costs could include:
  1. A new emergency/parking brake shoe ($20-$92): In a drum brake system, the parking shoe presses outward against the brake drums, locking them in place with friction. Like regular brake shoes, the parking brake shoe can be worn down or deformed after years of use.
  2. A new emergency/parking brake cable
    ($3-$250): The emergency parking brake cable connects the emergency parking brake control (a pedal, lever, or button) to your brakes, providing an alternative way to stop the car. It engages the brake shoes (or brake pads), which use friction to stop the car's wheels from rolling. Even though these cables are made from strong, braided steel, they can rust and snap.
  3. New emergency/parking brake controls (varies by type): Whether it’s a parking brake lever, an emergency brake pedal, or an e-brake electronic button, the controls activate your vehicle’s backup brake system. Use it too much (or too little) and your parking brake control could get stuck in place or otherwise malfunction.
We recommend purchasing these parts at local auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and NAPA Auto Parts, as well as online retailers like Amazon and RockAuto. We also recommend reputable brands such as ACDelco, Wagner, and Centric Parts for their reliability. However, like price, recommended brands may also vary depending on your vehicle’s specific year, make, and model.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts cost a lot more than aftermarket parts, but they often include better warranties. For example, a new genuine Toyota emergency parking brake shoe includes a 24-month/25,000-mile warranty (if it’s installed by a certified Toyota mechanic). The car manufacturer matters, too—Nissan, Chevrolet, and Dodge offer cheaper OEM parts than BMW or Mercedes-Benz. That being said, some aftermarket performance parts manufacturers offer just as much, if not more, quality as OEM parts.
You can buy new parking brake cables at automotive body and parts shops like Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone and NAPA Auto Parts; at dealerships; or online at Amazon and RockAuto. If you prefer OEM parts, try shopping on your vehicle manufacturer’s official website. Ford, Kia, Mazda, Volkswagen, 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 parts.

Where can I get my emergency/parking brake shoe replaced?

Finding the right place to get your emergency parking 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. 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.
132 Reviews
Wrench Inc. - CAE

Emergency Parking Brake Shoe Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$333
(Parts - $85, Labor - $248)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
152 Reviews
Olympos Auto Service
address
400 Jericho Turnpike, Mount Vernon, NY
Emergency Parking Brake Shoe Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$341
(Parts - $85, Labor - $256)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$135
152 Reviews
Velasquez Auto Care - Morgan
address
5811 W Capitol Dr, Milwaukee, WI
Emergency Parking Brake Shoe Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$293
(Parts - $85, Labor - $208)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$35
118 Reviews
Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service - Homewood #514
address
18024 Halsted St, Homewood, IL
Emergency Parking Brake Shoe Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
$357
(Parts - $85, Labor - $272)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$99.99
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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 parking brake shoe?

An emergency parking brake repair requires basic equipment, moderate knowledge, and a trained eye for spotting problems in your brake assembly. Here’s how a pro does it:
  1. Preparation: The mechanic raises the vehicle, removes the rear wheels, and removes the drums to inspect the rear brake shoes.
  2. Brake inspection: To determine if the emergency brake shoe can still hold the car in place, the mechanic measures the friction material coating the curved metal piece. If the brake shoes retain less than 30% of their original thickness, they must be replaced.
  3. Replacement: The mechanic replaces the brake shoes and any other damaged components, like the brake wheel cylinders, brake drums, and parking brake cable. They will use brake cleaner to clean the system of brake dust.
  4. Reassembly: The mechanic re-mounts the brake drums and wheels.
  5. Testing: The mechanic tests your vehicle’s braking performance several times to make sure it’s working properly.

What happens if I don’t do an emergency parking brake shoe replacement?

Think of it this way: if your emergency brake shoe is broken, your emergency brake won’t work. It’s not as serious as other things that can go wrong with your car (we’re looking at you, brake fluid leaks), but you’ll still want to get it fixed as soon as possible.
The emergency brake is just that—a method of braking in serious emergencies. If you live in a hilly area, it’s especially important to get this replaced because the emergency brake keeps your car from rolling once it’s parked.

What is an emergency parking brake shoe replacement?

An emergency parking brake shoe replacement only applies to cars with rear drum brakes. The service involves removing the wheels and partially disassembling the rear brake assembly to inspect the parts inside. If the brake shoes aren’t thick enough, the mechanic will replace them. If they’re merely dirty or contaminated, the mechanic will clean them before putting everything back together. 

What are the signs of a bad brake shoe?

Here are some signs that your emergency brake shoes might need to be replaced:
  1. Your emergency brake isn’t working.
  2. Your emergency brake doesn’t keep your parked car from moving.
  3. Your emergency brake won’t release.
If any of these signs occur, take your car to your mechanic, so they can assess the condition of your emergency brake shoe.
Key takeaway : A stuck or broken emergency brake shoe can cause your controls to stick, or your car to roll while parked on a hill.

How long do emergency brake shoes last?

Emergency brake shoes typically last around 50,000 miles. That being said, your vehicle, driving habits, and location all play a part in that estimate. Overusing (or underusing) your parking brake will contribute to its degradation, as will rainy or snowy weather.

Is it easy to replace an emergency parking brake shoe?

It’s not that easy to replace an emergency parking brake shoe. A drum brake (which uses shoes) has more parts and is more complex than a disc brake (which uses pads). Although the equipment required for this DIY brake service is basic, you could benefit from having an experienced eye inspect the rest of your brake system. By catching other problems early, a trained mechanic can prevent further damage.

FAQs

You can use the emergency parking brake if your brake pedal fails, but it won’t stop your car as quickly. The primary use of an emergency brake—also known as a parking brake, handbrake, or e-brake—is to keep your car from rolling while parked. It lacks the stopping power of your hydraulic brake system, but it’s better than nothing in a pinch.
Yes, some emergency brakes have brake pads, but others have brake shoes. Let me explain: disc brake systems use brake rotors and brake calipers. Drum brake systems use brake wheel cylinders and brake shoes. Both braking systems use friction to bring your car’s wheels to a halt.
You can leave your emergency brake on overnight but don’t leave it any longer than that. Eventually, your brake pads (brake shoes) could bind to the brake rotors (or drums). Rainy and snowy conditions could also cause the emergency brake cable to freeze and snap.

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.