Your primary braking system is an essential component of your vehicle. However, there’s a second braking system that’s just as important, although not as obvious. Your parking brake is responsible for keeping your car safely in one spot when you’re parked on a grade, and for ensuring that the weight of the car doesn’t rest on the transmission. The parking brake is activated by either pulling a lever or pushing an auxiliary brake pedal, which pulls a cable that runs beneath the car 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 vehicle in place. In a disc-brake setup, the drum is built into the back of the rear brake discs. In a drum-brake system, the parking brake uses the existing drums and shoes in the rear. Over time and through normal use, the parking brake components wear. The shoes will wear out well before the drum, but the drum can suffer damage before that happens.
While the parking brake actuation system is separate from your primary braking system, they’re both tied together. Brake wear (both shoe and parking brake drum) is normal and must be rectified with regular maintenance, including resurfacing and shoe replacement. Have your vehicle maintained by our expert mechanics, who are capable of inspecting your brakes and providing advice on maintenance intervals for your parking brake drum.
While parking brake drums will last for a very long time, they can be damaged in accidents and by driving with the parking brake engaged. If you suspect that your parking brake drum needs to be resurfaced, the shoes need to be replaced, or that there is damage to the drum, have the drum inspected and repaired immediately.
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