What is a rear brake shoe replacement?
When you get a brake shoe replacement, the mechanic will inspect your brake shoes for thickness and contamination. If they’re faulty, the mechanic will replace and adjust them.
Only vehicles with a drum brake system will have brake shoes, and usually only the rear axle. Brake shoes are curved pieces of metal with friction material on one side. When you step on your brake pedal, brake shoes are pushed against brake drums to cause enough friction to stop the car.
If the brake drums or wheel cylinders are damaged, they could also damage the brake shoes. The mechanic should check to see if those need replacing as well.
How to replace rear brake shoes
When replacing your brake shoes, the mechanic will typically do the following:
- Examine the brake shoes for thickness or contamination
- Replace the brake shoes if they turn out to be faulty
- Inspect the surrounding springs, backing plate, brake cylinders, brake drums, and the emergency brake cable
- Lubricate the backing plates (the foundations for the drums)
The mechanic will also typically test the new brake shoes with a test drive.
When do I need to replace my brake shoes?
It’s smart to have your brake shoes checked out once a year, which is usually included in a brake service. Of course, there are a few tell-tale signs it’s time to replace your rear brake shoes:
- Your brake warning light is on
- You hear noise from your rear brakes, specifically squeaking or scraping
- Your hand brake does not hold or feels loose
- The car shakes when braking
If you suspect your brake shoes need replacing, it’s best to get them checked out immediately to avoid any safety issues or more expensive brake repairs.
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