National average cost of a Wheel Cylinder Replacement for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $74
Avg. cost $201
What is a wheel cylinder and how does it work?
A wheel cylinder is a component of a drum brake system. Unlike a disc brake system, where a pair of brake pads squeeze together against the outside of a spinning disc to slow and stop your vehicle, a drum brake system relies on a pair of brake shoes suspended inside a bowl-shaped drum. When you press on the brake pedal, the wheel cylinder responds to hydraulic pressure, forcing the brake shoes against the inner wall of the drum to create friction. There is one dual-piston wheel cylinder in each drum.
Signs that a wheel cylinder needs to be replaced
While most late-model vehicles feature four-wheel disc brakes, a number of makes and models are still made with rear drum brakes. If your car or truck is fitted with drum brakes and you notice any of the following signs, you might need to schedule wheel cylinder replacement.
~Your brake pedal feels soft or spongy due to an internal leak
~The brakes do not respond as usual
~You hear a scraping or grinding noise from a stuck wheel cylinder
~You see an oily fluid leak on the ground just inside one of the rear wheels, on the inside of the tire, or on the drum backing plate
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There are 50 shops within 20 miles of your location.
When a wheel cylinder fails, it is usually recommended to replace the component on each side of your vehicle, especially when additional drum brake service is being done. To perform the repair, a mechanic will first need to lift and suspend your vehicle safely off the ground and remove the rear wheels and tires to access the brake drum system. Once that is in order, your mechanic will follow these general procedures to replace a wheel cylinder
Remove the brake drum
Detach the brake shoe springs and retainers and remove the shoes
Disconnect the hydraulic brake line from the wheel cylinder, taking care to avoid damage to the tubing
Unbolt the wheel cylinder from the backing plate and dislodge the cylinder
Clean the wheel hub and backing plate
Install a new wheel cylinder and reattach the brake line
Install brake shoes, hardware, and drum
Bleed air from the brake lines
Install the wheels and tires and lower vehicle
Actuate the brakes and test drive the vehicle to verify the repair (and to bed in the new brakes if shoes and drums were replaced)
Note that, on some vehicles, it may also be necessary to disconnect the battery when servicing the brakes
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
What parts are related to a Wheel Cylinder Replacement?