How do I know if I need new drum brakes?

Lately, I’ve noticed my car’s brakes aren’t responding like they used to. I had my disc brakes serviced and replaced less than 30,000 miles ago—I’m worried they’re already failing, but my husband pointed out it could also be the drum brakes. How do I know if I need new drum brakes?

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Answer provided by
Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
Answered on Jul 14, 2022
As with disc brakes, brake fade is a common early warning sign that your drum brakes are wearing thin. Watch out for these signs that you need a new drum brake:
  • Vibrations when braking or an unusual brake pedal feel
  • Noises when braking, particularly a scraping or grinding sound
  • Loose parking brake, or tire slips when the parking brake is engaged
These symptoms indicate your drum brakes could at least use an inspection—and probably a change. But, unfortunately, it’s hard to know when exactly to replace your car’s drum brakes, as most manufacturers don’t specify a specific length of time.
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