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 to replace a brake drum

There are two options for brake drum services—the drum can be completely replaced 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

When do I need to replace a brake drum? 

If your braking effectiveness has reduced, it might be time to replace the brake drum.
Other signs to look out for that may indicate the need for a brake drum service include:
  • Pulsating brakes, pulling to one side, vibration or noise
  • If a brake shoe requires replacement 
  • Loss of parking brake function
A warped or cracked drum is a great risk to you and the cars around you, as the brakes will not be fully functional. Any problem with your braking system renders your car not safe to drive. Braking problems increase the risk of a collision since they affect your braking distance.
It is recommended to have both sides of the axle serviced at the same time to prevent issues like pulling and vibrations.

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