What is this Parking Brake Drum all about?
Your primary braking system is a vital component of your car. However, there’s a second braking system that’s just as vital, although not as obvious. Your parking brake has the responsible of keeping your car safely in one spot when you’re parked on a grade, and for making sure that the weight of the vehicle doesn’t rest on the transmission.
The parking brake is engaged by either pulling a lever or pushing an auxiliary brake pedal, which pulls a cable that runs beneath the vehicle from the cabin to the rear wheels. This cable then pulls on the actuator within the parking brake drum, forcing the shoes apart and holding your car in one position.
In a disc-brake setup, the drum is made into the back of the rear brake discs. In a drum-brake system, the parking brake makes use of the existing drums and shoes in the rear. Over time and through normal use, the parking brake parts wear. The shoes will wear out well before the drum, but the drum can suffer damage before that occurs.
SEE ALSO:HOW TO REPLACE A BRAKE CALIPER
Bear in mind:
- Parking brake drum condition can be inspected during brake system inspections.
- Drum resurfacing is a normal part of car maintenance and should be done often.
- Shoe change is not required as frequently as pad change because it undergoes inspection during regular maintenance.
- Driving with your parking brake activated will quickly reduce the lifespan of both the shoes and the parking brake drum.
How is it done:
- The car is lifted and supported on jack stands and the rear wheels are taken out
- The defective parking brake drums are taken out
- The new parking brake drums are mounted
- The wheels are reinstalled and the car is removed from jack stands
- The vehicle is tested and checked for parking brake function ability
While the parking brake actuation system is different from your primary braking system, they’re both tied together. Brake wear (both shoe and parking brake drum) is normal and must be repaired with regular maintenance, including resurfacing and shoe change. Have your car maintained by expert mechanics, who are capable of inspecting your brakes and providing advice on maintenance intervals for your parking brake drum.
What common symptoms show you may need to change the Parking Brake Drum?
- Weak braking operations
- Damaged drum
- Parking brake doesn’t hold fast when activated or engaged
How essential is this service?
While parking brake drums will last for a very long period, they can be damaged in accidents and by driving with the parking brake activated. If you suspect that your parking brake drum needs to be resurfaced, the shoes need to be changed, or that there is damage to the drum, have the drum inspected and worked on immediately.