Drum brakes can be found on most vehicles, usually at the rear, and are an integral part of stopping the vehicle. These differ from disc brakes yet they serve the same purpose. The rear brakes are cable operated and when, for example, the hand brake is pulled up, the brake pads will push against the drum and the friction will cause the vehicle to stop. Drum brakes are also an integral part of the handbrake in the vehicle, which uses the rear brakes to stop the vehicle from rolling backwards when on a hill, or to keeping the vehicle stationary when parked. Brake shoes press against the drums to stop the vehicle from rolling.
Brake fluid supplies the calipers that close the brake shoes onto the drum, so keeping fluid levels topped up at all times is important. Close attention needs to be paid to the state of these parts, including the disc brakes, to ensure they are still within safe limits. Drum brakes work best when they are fitted with well-manufactured parts.
When the drums on a vehicle get worn they tend to lose their round shape and become slightly oval. From this the shoes, which then clamp onto the drum, tend to get worn down unevenly because of the drums’ irregular shape. The answer to this problem is replacing the drums with new parts obtained from a reputable parts dealer. Ask for genuine parts when purchasing drum brakes or instruct your mechanic to do so.