A brake adjustment is a service designed to calibrate a drum brake system on a vehicle.
Drum brakes require periodic adjustment in order to maintain peak performance and braking effectiveness. While some adjustment is done automatically when a driver is stopping in reverse or when the parking brake is engaged, some manual adjustment is generally needed.
Drum brakes were far more common years ago than they are today. Few late-model cars and SUVs employ drum brakes, although the system is still common on trucks. Yet while most passenger vehicles on the road rely on four-wheel disc braking systems, many of those utilize a drum brake system for the parking/emergency brake. These auxiliary drum brakes tend to be smaller in size than full scale drum brake systems, and they are incorporated inside of the rear brake rotors (discs) rather than inside a full brake drum. This is sometimes referred to as “drum-in-hat” brakes, and, in these systems, adjustment is needed less frequently.
When your drum brakes wear away, it is common for the brake shoes to fail to put enough pressure against the inside wall of the brake drum to stop your vehicle sufficiently. If your vehicle features brake drums, you might know that it is time for an adjustment if you notice that any of the following occur:
To adjust drum brakes, a technician will first need to raise and support your vehicle in the air for access. From there, it will be necessary to perform the following steps:
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