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How to tell if your drum brakes need changing? 


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 Post subject: How to tell if your drum brakes need changing?
Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:06 pm 
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Still found on many cars, especially older ones and some commercial vehicles, drum brakes may look a bit alien and outdated compared to disc brakes. Although the technology is not new, drum brakes are still factory fitted on the rear of new cars. Drum brakes have two common configurations on the rear axle; combined handbrake and foot brake shoes and handbrake only shoes. Handbrake only shoes are often fitted inside the disc rotor, like standard drum brakes, and are normally sealed away. This makes visually checking for wear and tear not easy.

How do drum brakes work?

Drum brakes slow down the car by pressing a brake shoe against the inside of the drum brake, the rotating component that spins with the wheels. The drum is made from an iron alloy that is specially formulated to be extremely long lasting. The brake shoes consist of a friction lining bonded to a metal backing plate.


How to tell if your brake shoes need changing?

  1. Inconsistent brake pedal feel. If the rear brakes are drum brakes, the driver may feel vibrations under braking. The initial bite when the brakes are still cold may be lacking. This is because the brake shoes are so worn that they cannot firmly press against the drum.
  2. Hand brake feels loose. If the hand brake requires a hard yank to keep the car from rolling off, chances are the brake shoes need replacing. On a steep incline, if the car moves an inch or so before coming to a rest, the drum or brake shoes would need to be inspected. There is a possibility it could be a loose hand brake cable, which is a much easier fix.
  3. Scraping noise while braking. When brake shoes are worn away so much that only the metal shoe platform remains, under braking you would hear a metallic scrapping noise. Once it is this severe, you may have to machine the drum or replace it all together.


When replacing brake shoes, choose Bendix Brake Shoes for stopping power, low noise and dust, and durability. Specially formulated for all driving conditions, you can put your foot down with confidence, every time.

Bendix products are available from leading automotive stockist. Click HERE to locate your nearest stockist.

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