Cars & Vehicles Auto Parts & Maintenance & Repairs

Drum Brakes That Squeak

    • Drum brakes can develop annoying squeaks.Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

      The widespread use of drum brakes may not have happened had it not been for a 1902 vehicle race between a horse-drawn carriage, a horseless carriage and Ransom E Olds' Oldsmobile: the Oldsmobile's brakes allowed it to stop more quickly than the other vehicles. Olds' brake design became today's effective drum brake with internal pads. Drum brakes may squeak, due to one or several factors.

    Brake Dust

    • Brake dust may sound inconsequential; however, it can cause squeaking. Brake dust typically collects inside the drum; when the pads squeeze against the drum, the friction causes noise. To remedy the problem, remove the drum and clean it thoroughly with brake wash or brake cleaner. The squeaking will soon be a thing of the past.

    Pad and Backing Plate Vibrations

    • Vibrations between the brake pads and the backing plates can cause drum brakes to squeak. To fix this issue, apply brake grease to the pads and backing plate.

    No Contact Between Drum and Shoes

    • When the drum and the shoes do not touch as they should, this can cause squeaking. There are two ways to fix this problem: the first is to resurface the drum by grinding it or replace the shoes.

    Worn Out Shoes

    • Through normal wear and tear, the brake shoes can deposit material into the brake drum. This may show up as squeaks but also indicates that you need to replace the drum brake shoe after clearing out all the debris.

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