The national average cost for brake drum replacement is $110

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In Ashburn, people who book through CarAdvise save $208 on average for Brake Drum Replacement. Lock in this price now.

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National average cost of a Brake Drum Replacement
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What is a brake drum and how does it work?

A brake drum is a component of the brake system on some cars and trucks. The drum is much like a deep bowl made of thick, heavy metal and is attached to a wheel. Suspended inside the drum is a pair of brake shoes. When you press on the brake pedal, the shoes expand outward and push against the inside of the brake drum, creating friction to slow and stop your vehicle. Although not nearly as common as they once were due to the rise in popularity of disc brake systems, drum brakes can still be found on a number of vehicle makes and models, although typically only on the rear wheels.

Signs that a brake drum needs to be replaced

Drum brakes in general are known to have less stopping power than disc brakes due, in part, to their lesser ability to manage heat effectively. On the other hand, drum brakes are sealed against the elements more than disc brakes. Where brake shoes need to be replaced regularly, brake drums are made to last longer. In any case, you might notice the following signs if a brake drum needs to be replaced

Reduced braking effectiveness due to uneven wear, scoring, or cracking

Pulsating brake pedal or pulling to one side when braking

Vibration when pressing on the brake pedal

Rubbing, scraping, or grinding noise from the rear of the vehicle when in motion or when braking


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How is this service performed

How is a Brake Drum Replacement done?

Unlike a disc brake system, where the brake rotor is readily accessible once the brake caliper is removed, drum brakes include a system of springs, retainers, adjusters, and other components to actuate the brake shoes. So, with your vehicle safely lifted and supported off of the ground and the wheels removed, a mechanic will need to do the following to access and replace your brake drums

  • Remove the brake drum (some drums may require that the axle nut be removed first)
  • Perform the balance of the brake shoe replacement procedure
  • Inspect the wheel cylinder for signs of leaks
  • Install the new brake drum and adjust the brake tensioner
  • Top off brake fluid as necessary
  • Actuate parking brake for further tensioner adjustment
  • Test drive to verify repair


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