The emergency or parking brake shoe helps prevent the car from rolling down when the parking or emergency brake is applied. And hence it is an important component of the parking brake system. So, if you face any issues with this component, don’t postpone the parking brake shoe replacement service. Let’s understand what this is all about.

What is the Emergency/Parking Brake Shoe?

If you drive a new car that was made after 1990, chances are your car has brake rotors installed at the rear ends. In this case, your car will also feature a separate parking brake shoe. The function of this show is to simply hold the car in one place when the parking or emergency brake is engaged.

However, if you are driving an old model that still has brake drums on the rear wheels, there will be no separate emergency brake shoes. The brake shoe installed inside the rear brake drums will double as the parking or emergency brake shoe in that case.

Why do you need the Parking Brake Shoe Replacement?

The parking brake shoe is meant to ensure that the wheels of your car don’t turn once you have applied the parking brake. When you press the parking brake, the parking brake cable creates friction between the parking brake shoe and the rear brake rotor. And this helps the parking brake shoe to compress the rear brake rotor which allows it to hold the car in one place.

As the parking brake shoe is subjected to a lot of pressure and heat, it wears out and becomes thinner with time. This eventually reduces its ability to apply pressure to the rotor, reducing its efficiency and making it a safety hazard.

When is it necessary to Replace the Parking Brake Shoe?

During your driving, the parking brake shoe often comes in contact with debris and a lot of other contaminants. This can also be one of the reasons for its reduced efficiency. However, in this case, a simple cleaning will suffice and the replacement isn’t necessary.

So, if you face any of the following issues with your parking brake, contact a trusted mechanic and find out if the replacement is required. A mechanic will be able to tell if the parking brake shoe needs replacement based on its thickness. The common symptoms of a worn parking brake shoe are:

  • If the parking brake stops working
  • In case the parking brake doesn’t hold the car even after being engaged
  • You are unable to release the parking brake

Also Read: How to Care for your Car’s Differential

How is the Replacement Done?

  • Remove the rear brake rotor
  • Inspect the parking brake shoe
  • Measure the thickness of the shoe
  • If the thickness is reduced to less than 30% of the original, remove the shoe and replace it with a new one
  • Clean the parking brake shoe and adjust the parking brakes
  • Check if the hand brake is working fine

Wrapping Up

If there’s one brake system component that is always overlooked, it has to be the parking brake shoes, despite their importance. Ideally, you should get the parking brake shoes looked at when you are getting the brake system serviced or the brake components replaced. Use Swezo to get in touch with expert mechanics and get your car serviced and parking brake shoes replaced.

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