It is widely accepted that disc brakes are superior in many ways to drum brakes; this does not mean, however, that this type of brake does not still appear in modern car designs for a variety of reasons. Disc brakes are beneficial largely due to the fact that they exhibit far less of what is known as brake fade – a situation that occurs where braking force lessens with hard usage. This type of brake also maintains greater effectiveness in wet weather.
Drum brakes still appear in many vehicles on the rear wheels, this is because a vehicle’s weight shifts forward when stopping, increasing the job done by the front brakes by up to 70%, and hence reducing the need for expensive disc brakes on the rear wheels. Such a decision reduces the cost of a vehicle’s braking system by a considerable amount. As a by-product the brake drum may also double as a parking brake, further increasing efficiency of a vehicle’s design. It is relatively easy to remove the brakes drum and replace it with a disc variation. Be they fitted on a brake drum or brake disc, brake shoes are among the most commonly replaced component of a vehicle, since by their very nature they wear down over time. This can become expensive, but it is important to keep in mind that the life of brake shoes can be prolonged by one simple technique: going easy on the brake pedal. Simply drive more smoothly, reduce hard braking, and see the lifespan of your shoes soar.