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Handbrake shoe replacement
Handbrake shoe replacement cost
Brakes are one of the most important components of a car and the handbrake is a crucial part of the braking system, working to keep your vehicle stationary and secure.
Vehicles have drum brakes and/or disc brakes and the handbrake shoes are typically located at the rear brakes.
For drum brakes, the handbrake uses a manual mechanism that works the brakes in a similar way to pushing your foot on the brake pedal.
Disc brakes are a little different and have a disc brake rotor and pads to stop the vehicle. In vehicles fitted with disc brakes, the handbrake shoes are utilised inside the drum (or hat) on the disc brake rotor.
The front brakes take on more braking load than the rear brakes. If you have drum brakes on the rear, your brake shoes (or handbrake shoes) will generally last twice as long as your front brakes. Check out this article for more about brake shoe replacement.
The cost to replace the brake shoes could range between $190 to $400 depending on your vehicle and the price is for a set - you will need to replace the shoes on both sides of the axle.
What is the handbrake shoe?
Handbrake shoes are curved half-circles containing friction pads that are mounted to sit against the walls of a cylindrical metal drum. The drums attach to the wheels and rotate as the vehicle is moving.
Handbrake shoes work on a spring mechanism that keeps the shoe just far enough off the wall so the drum can spin freely whilst driving. When you park and apply the handbrake, the handbrake shoes are forced against the wall of the drum to hold the vehicle in place.
For drum brakes, the handbrake applies the brake shoes against the drum manually. For disc brakes, the drum is the centre of the disc brake rotor. The handbrake shoes are mounted on the inside of the drum (or hat) and forced against the inside of the drum wall when the handbrake is engaged.
Symptoms that the handbrake shoe needs replacing
- Grinding or squealing noise as you apply the brake pedal
- Brake pedal goes all the way to the floor
- Vibration through the brake pedal
- Rattle or metallic noise coming from the brakes
- Handbrake lever is not functioning as usual
- Vehicle continues to roll when handbrake applied
How is the handbrake shoe replaced
- Vehicle raised and wheels removed
- Wheel hub and brake components are removed to access the brake shoes
- Worn brake shoes are removed and replaced with new ones
- Brake components and wheel hub refitted
- Wheels refitted
- Brakes are adjusted and tested for operation
Tips to remember
If handbrake shoes have been contaminated they should be replaced.
Brake drums should be cleaned, measured and resurfaced or replaced if required.
How important is replacing the handbrake shoe?
If your handbrake were to fail, you put yourself and others in a vulnerable situation.
If you don’t replace handbrake shoes when they have reached their wear limit you do run the risk of damaging other components and if you have drum brakes on the rear you run the risk of your brakes not working when you need them.
An expert AutoGuru mechanic can check your handbrake shoes for your peace of mind.