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How Much does a Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement Cost?
The braking system is the primary method for slowing your car to stop or maneuver.
A car with drum brakes employs wheel cylinders as a critical component to making the brakes function.
These brake wheel cylinders are prone to failure with extended use and over time and need to be replaced once they begin leaking brake fluid or seize.
Brake wheel cylinders usually last around three to five years, or approximately up to 100,000km, but that varies depending on the make and model as well as the type of driving being done.
The average price to replace one brake wheel cylinder ranges from $200 to $350, although some may be more.
The cost of brake wheel cylinder replacement is usually less, however, because it’s commonly done at the same time as brake shoe replacement.
Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement
What is a Brake Wheel Cylinder?
A brake wheel cylinder is part of the hydraulic braking system in a car with drum brakes.
There’s a wheel cylinder located behind each brake drum.
When the brake pedal is pressed, hydraulic brake fluid pressure extends the wheel cylinder to force the brake shoes against the drum, and the friction causes your car to slow down.
A wheel cylinder is a cast iron tube with a machined bore, and brake fluid enters in the centre section.
Two small metal pistons, one at either end, are forced outward when the fluid pressure builds up inside.
Each piston has a seal to prevent fluid from leaking past. If the pistons seize in the bore or the seals begin to leak, the brake wheel cylinder must be replaced.
Symptoms You Require Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement
- Fluid leaking from the wheel area
- Rear brakes are dragging or locked up
- The brake pedal eases to the floor when pressed
How Are Brake Wheel Cylinders Replaced?
- The technician lifts the rear wheels off the ground and removes the wheels
- The brakes are inspected and faulty wheel cylinders identified
- The brake drum is removed
- The wheel cylinder is removed and a new brake wheel cylinder fitted
- The brake fluid is topped up and the brakes bled of air
- The technician reassembles the brakes, installs the wheels, and lowers the car
- The car is road tested to confirm the repair is complete
Tips to Remember
- Commonly, brake wheel cylinders are replaced in pairs, and often at the same time as brake shoe replacement
- Drum brakes must be adjusted after brake wheel cylinder replacement
- The brake fluid must be bled of air, otherwise a spongy pedal and inconsistent brake operation could result
How Important is Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement?
Having your brake wheel cylinders replaced once they are showing signs of failure will let you drive confidently, knowing your brakes will function properly whenever you press the pedal.
Continuing to drive your car when one or both brake wheel cylinders are faulty can be dangerous for you, your car’s occupants, and other people around you.
It can be the difference between avoiding a collision and being involved in a serious accident.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
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