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What are Brake Shoes and where are they Located?
Your vehicle’s brake shoes, also referred to as brake linings, are major components in a drum brake system. A drum brake system consists of brake shoes, drums, backing plates and wheel cylinders. The Brake drums bolt onto the wheel hubs, and spin at the same rate as the wheels. Inside each drum sits one wheel cylinder and two brake shoes, which are bolted to the backing plate. When you press the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is transmitted to the wheel cylinder causing the pistons to expand, pushing the brake shoes against the inside surface of the drum. The friction that this creates is what allows the vehicle to slow to a stop. In a nutshell, your vehicle’s brakes convert kinetic energy to thermal energy.
Most vehicles today have four brake discs. However, at one time drum brakes were the standard for all vehicles, and rear drums are still found on many cars and trucks today. If a car or truck is only equipped with brake drums, then each drum will have a set of two brake shoes, for a total of four brake shoe sets on the vehicle – two in the front and two in the rear (for a total of eight brake shoes). If a car or truck only has brake drums in the rear of the vehicle, the vehicle will have two front brake rotors and two rear brake drums, and therefore it will have a total of two sets of rear brake shoes (for a total of four brake shoes).
Automotive brake shoes consist of a brake lining and steel shoe; the brake lining is made up of a friction material formula bonded together by resin which is either riveted or bonded to the shoe. The friction material is usually made up of a mixture of organic and metallic materials such as zinc, brass, aluminum, graphite, and rubber. It is this friction material that makes contact with the drum which creates the friction needed to stop your vehicle.
One advantage of a drum brake system is that the brake shoes will generally last longer than pads in a disc brake system, since there is a larger friction material contact area. However, due to the design of drum brakes, they do not dissipate heat as well as a disc brake system. As heat builds within the drum, the brakes become less affective.
Emergency Brake Shoes
Many vehicles today with rear disc brakes use emergency or parking brake shoes rather than using the brake caliper. An emergency brake shoe system essentially is a mechanical drum brake system; the brake rotor is actually a rotor / drum combination. The brake shoes in these applications are generally the same as in a drum brake system, however a cable and lever is used instead of a wheel cylinder to push the shoes against the inside of the drum / rotor. Some vehicles, such as GM trucks and SUVs use a single emergency brake shoe per side rather than a pair.
How do I Know when to Replace my Brake Shoes?
Generally, brake shoes should be replaced when the liner reaches a thickness of 1/16 inch. It is recommended to inspect your vehicle’s brakes yearly, or every 15,000 miles. It is important to inspect all components such as the wheel cylinders, hardware, adjuster, cables, and backing plates for any signs of wear, rust or corrosion. It is important to seek out replacement brake shoes as soon as they reach this predetermined thickness to prevent possible damage to your car or truck’s brake drums and to ensure proper braking. Being able to safely stop your car is equally as important as being able to start it. Not only will you be thankful, but those around will be as well.
Need Replacement Brake Shoes?
Having properly functioning brakes on your car or truck is an absolute must for your own safety as well as for the safety of others. Since brake shoes are an important component of a vehicle’s drum brake system, if they are worn out, then replacement brake shoes are needed ASAP. At 1A Auto, we carry a full line of high quality aftermarket brake shoes, including both front brake shoes and rear brake shoes, for many makes and models. The grades of stopping power of the brake shoes we carry range from everyday city driving, to highway, to severe heavy duty applications! Each brake shoe is engineered to deliver unsurpassed performance and reliability, along with ensuring extended service life and quiet operation. If you are looking for exacting quality, selection, and performance in a brake shoe then search no more - 1A Auto has the perfect answer for your braking needs!
At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement brake shoe set for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our aftermarket drum brake shoes, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online right here at 1aauto.com. Restore the safety of your vehicle and order a replacement brake shoe set from 1A Auto today!
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We employ USA based, knowledgeable support technicians. They'll help you through your project. We always make sure you get the right part. And we boast the industry's most generous returns policy. You won't find a company more passionate about auto parts than 1A Auto.