Understanding brake shoe

The brake lining, which is riveted or attached to the shoe, is carried by the brake shoe. The shoe moves when the brake is applied, pressing the lining up against the inside of the drum. The braking force is produced by friction between the lining and the drum. Heat is produced as energy is lost. Modern vehicles either feature disc brakes all around or discs up front and drums in back. A benefit of discs is that there is less chance of overheating because they can dissipate heat more quickly than drums.

Today, you’ll get to know the definition, function, diagram, working, location, and symptoms of a brake shoe. You’ll also get to know brake shoe replacement costs.

Read more: Things you need to know about brake pads

Ok then, let’s get down to business.


What is a brake shoe?

The brake shoe is part of a drum brake system. The crescent-shaped brake shoes have a rough friction material on one side. They are seated inside a brake drum. In order to slow the wheel down, the brake shoes must be driven outward when the brake pedal is depressed.

Drum brakes and brake shoes are components of an old type of braking system that have started to appear less frequently on contemporary cars. However, because drum brakes are less expensive to manufacture, some car models will have them on the rear wheels.

In an automobile’s drum brake or a train’s or bicycle’s brake, the brake block is carried by a brake shoe, which is a component of the braking system. The term “brake shoe” also refers to a device used to slow down train vehicles on a track. While brake shoes and brake linings serve comparable purposes, they are in no way the same.

Even though they both contribute to the stopping force of a drum brake system, brake shoes and brake linings play different roles and have different constructions. The brake linings provide the necessary friction to slow or stop the vehicle, while the brake shoes provide the structure and mechanism for delivering pressure to the brake drum.

Read more: Understanding brake caliper

Diagram of a brake shoe



Function and Working Principle

The main function of a brake shoe is to press against the inner face of the drum to create the friction required to stop the vehicle.

Its working principle is pretty straightforward: The brake shoes press on the braking drum’s inner surface when the brake pedal is depressed, which is accomplished by hydraulic pressure being provided to the brake shoes.

Friction is produced as a result, slowing and ultimately stopping the rotation of the wheel and the vehicle. The brake shoe’s friction material is made to endure high temperatures and wear since it experiences consistent, severe pressure and friction when the vehicle is braking.

Read more: Understanding automotive braking system

Where is the brake shoe located?

Brake shoes are located inside the brake drum and fastened to the backing plate with hold-down hardware. A leading and a trailing brake shoe are both activated simultaneously by hydraulic pressure supplied by the wheel cylinder in each drum brake system.

Each wheel has its own wheel cylinder that controls the brakes. The shoes are, however, driven by two pistons, one at each end of the cylinder. The leading or primary shoe refers to the braking shoe on the front of the wheel. The shoe that is close to the back is referred to as the secondary or trailing shoe.

Typically, the front shoe is shorter and smaller than the back shoe. To match the stopping strength of the front shoe, which is stronger, the rear shoe must be larger. The two share the same general design and material construction, with the exception of size.

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Bad or failing brake shoe symptoms

Here are the most common signs and symptoms of a bad or failing brake shoe:

Squealing noises

When brake shoes are worn, the interior of the drum will make a scraping noise, and dusty brake shoes will make a squeaking noise.

spongy or loose brake pedal

You should have your brakes checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible if you experience a spongy or loose feeling when you press down on the brake pedal.

Braking requires More effort

As brake shoes deteriorate, you will have to apply more pressure to the brake pedal in order to come to a complete stop, which increases the risk of an accident.

Loose parking brake

Since the parking brake is also placed in the drum brake, a loose parking brake may be a sign that the brakes need to be repaired. You should have a mechanic examine your drum brakes because you might still notice them rolling even after applying the emergency brake.

Vibrating brake pedal when brakes are applied

Strong pedal vibrations are also a sign that your drum brakes need to be replaced.

Read more: Understanding brake fluid

Brake shoe replacement cost?

Brake shoe replacement cost

Brake Shoe Replacements typically cost between $260 and $295. While parts are priced between $135 and $139, labor costs are estimated to range between $124 and $157. Although brake shoes are designed to last longer than pads, they nevertheless need to be replaced since they wear out.

You will purchase a kit that contains both the front and back shoes when your car requires new brake shoes. Also, as they are likely both worn, you should replace the left and right shoes at the same time. By conducting replacement on both sides, you ensure optimal performance when you need to stop the vehicle.

Read more: Brake pad and rotor replacement cost


How much does it cost to replace brake shoes?

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive and the sort of repair shop you choose, the average cost to replace a brake shoe ranges from $120 to $200.

Do brake shoes need to be replaced?

Your car’s brake shoes could only require replacement a few times over the course of its lifetime if you’re careful and lucky. Brake shoes on a sloppy driver could need to be changed every 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

How do you know if you need brake shoes?

One of the first signs that brake shoes are beginning to wear out is abnormal noise. Brake shoes that are too worn or dirty will make strange noises. For instance, brake shoes that are extremely worn may make a scraping sound, whereas brake shoes that are dusty or unclean may make a squeaking sound.

What happens when a brake shoe breaks?

The brake pedal vibrates. When the brake shoes start to become worn, the entire assembly of brake drums will begin to vibrate whenever the brake pedal is depressed. The brake pedal then receives this vibration, which is felt on the foot as the vehicle brakes.

How long do brake shoes last?

Your car’s brake shoes are expected to last for about 35,000 miles, but occasionally they won’t. A set of brake shoes may wear out more quickly for a number of reasons, such as deformed brake drums or damaged hardware.

Do brake shoes make noise?

The friction material that makes up brake pads and shoes is affixed to a metal backing plate. As the pads and shoes deteriorate, the backing plate may start rubbing against the rotor or drum, which can produce a metallic grinding sound.

What are the top 5 causes of brake noise?

  • Damaged brake pads.
  • Improperly shaped brake rotors.
  • Defective anti-rattle clips.
  • Insulation shims that were improperly put.
  • Brake pads that have glazed surfaces occur when they become overheated.

What are the 3 types of brake noises?

  • Low frequency (deep noises or judders)
  • Medium frequency (squealing)
  • High frequency (squeaking)

Why does my car shake when I brake?

Your car might shake when braking, the steering wheel might tremble, or the brake pedal might pulse if the rotor is deformed or has variations in thickness. Get your brake system inspected; if a damaged rotor is the cause of the issue, the component can be changed.

That is all for this article, where we discussed the definition, function, diagram, working, location, and symptoms of a brake shoe. We also get to discuss brake shoe replacement costs.

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!