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A brake drum is a smooth metal cylindrical housing attached to the rear wheel hub. It is an essential component of your car’s braking system that enables you to slow down or stop. Most new cars (1999 and above) come with rotors at each wheel. Older cars may have drums at the rear wheels instead of rotors. It is the friction between brake shoes and drums that cause your car to slow down and stop. As the drums wear out (get warped or grooved), they are unable to dissipate the heat caused by the braking system. This will cause the brake fluid to boil and weaken its ability to slow and stop the car.
If you notice a clear fluid underneath your car or on the wheels, get it inspected as soon as possible. Do not drive the car with brake fluid leaking. It can make the brakes weaker and eventually lead to brake failure.
When you apply your brake pedal, the brake drums rub against the brake shoes, creating friction that slows down your vehicle. If the brake drums are damaged, this friction is sporadic and inefficient, and your car will not brake as effectively. If the brake drums are worn down, they won’t be thick enough to dissipate the braking system’s heat, and the brake fluid will absorb the heat and reach a boiling point. Boiling brake fluid is less effective, and will lower the effectiveness of your brake system.
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