How Much Should a Brake Shoe Replacement Cost?

March 18, 2013

Brake shoe replacement needs to be done on a regular basis and if ignored can cause serious damage to your brake system. While the repair is fairly inexpensive, this quick overview will help you find the best place to have the work done.

What is a Brake Shoe? - Brake shoes are used in drum brakes and basically serve the same purpose as a brake pad in a disc brake. They are a steel shoe with a friction material attached to it. These friction materials eventually wear out, and if they get through to the metal shoe it can cause damage to the shoe and drum.

Cost - The cost of a replacing worn brake pads or worn shoes will vary on the type of vehicle you have and if you are comfortable doing the work yourself. If you are experienced with auto work and can change the shoes yourself you can probably change all four shoes for under $100. If you take the car to a brake shop you can expert to pay between $150 and $300. A quick check with Midas shows a special price of $99 per axle for brake shoe replacement.

General Tips - Always use a reputable brake shop. It's best to ask for recommendations from family or friends. Check the Better Business Bureau website to make sure there are not complaints against the shop you are using. Require your signature before they proceed with any work and always get a quote. Request an explanation of any repairs and ask to see the parts being replaced. If a shop is reputable, they should have no problem showing you the parts.

Your cars braking system is very important to you and your families safety so make sure you have the system checked on a regular basis and get repairs done in a timely manner.

Related Questions and Answers

What Tools are Required to Adjust Auto Brake Shoes?

Some of the tools required to adjust brake shoes include a tire jack, lug nut wrench, socket wrench set, a long screwdriver, and a brake-adjusting spoon. However, the majority of cars feature self-adjusting front and rear brakes, eliminating the need to manually adjust them. Most rear brake shoes are automatically adjusted by applying the brakes while driving. Manually adjusting the rear brake shoes requires removing the rear wheels and brake drums, locating the adjustment hole, and rotating the adjustment star wheel according to the manufacturer's specifications. However, because of the complexity and safety issues associated with brake shoe adjustment, it is best left to an automotive professional. Many of whom charge a minimal fee for cleaning and adjustments.

For more info, see How Much Should a Brake Shoe Replacement Cost?

Where can I Buy an Auto Brake Shoe Tool for Brake Repairs and Adjustments?

An automotive brake shoe tool is available from most auto parts stores and dealers. Dealers will generally charge a premium for any tools they sell, while most auto parts stores sell similar tools at a discount. Many websites also offer brake shoe tools for a variety of makes and models. The price of these tools will vary. However, many websites offer them at a discount off the retail price. Quality is very important when choosing automotive tools, and it is best to research what brands come most recommended. Many automotive websites will indicate what tools and brands work best for a specific make and model of car.

What Does an Auto Brake Shoe Do?

An auto brake shoe provides friction to help stop a car when the brakes are applied. The majority of new cars use disc brake pads in the front and rear. However, some use disc brake pads in the front, and brake shoes in the rear. Unlike brake pads that grip rotors to apply friction which slow down and stop a car, brake shoes sit inside a drum, and the brake shoes are pushed up against the inside of the drums when braking force is applied. The friction of the shoes rubbing against the drums helps to slow down the vehicle.

How often should I Buy New Auto Brake Shoes?

New brake shoes should be purchased every other time the front disc brake pads are replaced. On average, rear brake shoes last twice as long as front disc brakes because the front brake pads provide the majority of braking power. However, the complete braking system should be inspected at least twice a year. More often for city driving, or if there is any noise, vibration, pulling, pedal pulsation, or reduction in braking ability. Brake shoes and pads that have worn down to the rivets can damage the drums and rotors and drastically reduce braking ability. In addition, all brake-related hardware, including the drums, rotors, calipers, cylinders, and hoses must be inspected to ensure safety and performance.