What are Brake Shoes? | 5 Signs of Bad Brake Shoes

The vehicle consists of different parts. Brake shoes and drums are important parts of the vehicle’s braking system. Brake shoes and drums are more common on older cars that don’t use the disc brake system to lower the speed of the car. Actually, the brake shoe works as a brake pad, and the brake drum works as a brake disc. As the brake shoes go bad, it gives different symptoms that alert the driver about the problem. This article explains the signs and replacement costs of the bad brake shoes.

What is Brake Shoe?

The brake shoe is one of the major parts used in automotive drum brake systems that are normally found on many highway trucks and cars. The brake drum is a drum-shaped part connected to each wheel of the vehicle.

Brake shoe

As the driver presses the brake pedal, then the brake shoes press the brake drum, creating friction that reduces the speed of the rotating wheel. This works the same as a disc brake system, but it is an older version. The brake shoe uses to lower the speed of the vehicle through friction and contact, so they wear out with time, and you need to replace them.

Bad Brake Drums and Shoes Symptoms

As the brake drums and shoes go bad, they produce one of the below-given symptoms:

1) Weak Brakes

If you press the brake pedal and it takes a long time to reduce the speed of the vehicle, then there may be a problem with the brake shoes and brake drum. However, you may face problems to stop the vehicle due to other issues with the braking system.

However, if your car contains a disc brake system, this is the equivalent of a blown disc and pad.

2) Brake Noises

The noisy brake is one of the main symptoms of the bad brake drums and shoes. In such conditions, the brake generates noise as you press the brake pedal. This happens over time as brake drums don’t absorb brake heat.

This can lead to accumulation of the heat and overload the braking system. If you then press the brake shoe against the drum, you will hear a scratching noise.

3) Brake Pedal Vibrations

As we discussed above, if you continuously use your vehicle brakes, the brake drum will wear out over time. If it’s too worn, you’ll notice the brake pedal vibration as you put your foot on the brake pedal.

Brake Pedal

The vibration coming from the brake pedal is not a big issue, but if your vehicle has braking performance related issues, you need to replace your drums and brake shoes.

Therefore, as you feel the brake pedal vibration, stop the vehicle and inspect it deeply. If you can’t find the exact reason for the vibration, then immediately contact the mechanic.

4) Loos Parking Brake

The parking brake relies on the shoe’s ability to press the drum. Press the shoes firmly to press the drum for safe parking.

Parking Brake

However, if there is a problem with the brake drum or shoes, the parking brake will not work efficiently. This causes the parking brake to be too loose when you try to apply it. In addition, the vehicle can easily skid after applying the parking brake.

5) Reduced Stopping Power

Most drivers want that their vehicle stops immediately as they press the brake. However, they don’t know what happens when they step on the brake pedal. However, as the brake shoes begin to wear down, your braking system will take more time than usual to stop the vehicle.

Stopping Power

With time, this issue gradually worsens as the shoes continue to be worn. You will need an inspection to find the problem if your vehicle contains drum brakes on the back wheels and front disc brakes.

Read More: Signs of Bad Clutch Plate

Brake Shoes Location

The vehicle contains a wheel cylinder that operates the brakes on each wheel. However, two pistons (one at each end of the cylinder) are used to operate the shoes. The brake shoe in front of the wheel is called the primary shoe or guide shoe. The brake shoe on the back of the wheel is called the secondary or trailing shoe.

The rear shoes are usually longer and bigger than the front shoes. However, the front shoe is stronger than the rare shoe. Therefore, the rear shoe length increases according to the braking force. However, both shoes have similar construction materials and designs.

Many latest models don’t have drum brakes at the front, but some vehicles still have them at the rear. The drum brakes are more commonly used because they have low manufacturing costs than disc brakes.

FAQ Section

What is the function of the Brake Shoes?

The brake shoe is one of the most important parts of the drum brake system. The brake shoe uses a frictional material on one side. The friction material is placed toward the brake drum. When you step on the brake pedal, the brake shoe moves outward and pushes in the brake drum, causing the vehicle’s wheels to brake.

What is the replacement cost of the Brake Shoes?

The replacement cost of the brake shoes varies according to the area where you live, car model, and type of brand. The average replacement cost of the brake shoes is from $220 to $310. In this cost, the labor cost is between $70 to $140, while the cost of the parts is between $150 to $170

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