When it comes to maintaining the safety of your vehicle, properly working brakes play a vital role. If your vehicle is equipped with drum brakes (where the brake shoe presses against the inside of a drum within your wheel to bring your vehicle to a stop), it's possible to make repairs to the brakes on your own.
Here are two tips that will ensure you can safely and quickly repair your drum brakes in the future.
1. Invest in specialized tools.
Repairing drum brakes becomes much easier if you have access to the right tools. If you plan to make DIY brake repairs a regular occurrence, then investing in some specialized tools can be a great idea.
Here are three types of tools to purchase from your local automotive store prior to attempting a drum brake repair:
- Retainer pin tools- these allow you to grip the brake's retainer plate for easy removal.
- Return spring tools- these give you the ability to remove high-tension return springs from your brake pad with ease.
- Brake adjusting tools- made specifically for rear brake drums, these tools are shaped specifically to allow you to adjust the drum shoes for optimal braking.
Having access to these tools will give you the ability to manipulate the various parts within your vehicle's drum braking system without too much effort. You may need to visit a truck equipment store to purchase them.
2. Clean the brake's friction surface.
The point of contact between your brake drum and brake shoe is commonly referred to as the friction surface. When dirt, debris, or contaminants find their way onto the friction surface, your drums could suffer irreparable damage caused by scoring or corrosion.
Here are three simple ways to clean the friction surface as you engage in the repair process.
- Lint-free cloth- wiping the friction surface with a lint-free cloth can remove small particles of dust that could score the delicate metal of the brake drum over time.
- 120-grit sandpaper- oil or grease stains might need to be sanded off the friction surface with a fine sandpaper.
- Brake cleaner- solvents that can be purchased from your local automotive store will help you eliminate contaminants that could cause rust or corrosion from the friction surface.
Taking the time to ensure that the friction surface is clean before completing your repairs will help you extend the life of your drum brakes.
If you are looking for a simple way to save on your vehicle maintenance costs, doing your own drum brake repairs could be a viable solution. Invest in specialty tools and ensure that the friction surface stays clean, and you will be able to complete minor drum brake repairs with ease.