Common Classic Car Brake Repairs

light blue classic car

Classic car brake repairs are essential to ensure your classic car remains in good working order. You should never cut any corners on brake repairs because they help your car remain safe and maintain value. Some of the most crucial parts of your car are the brakes; without high-quality brakes, you will not be able to stop quickly. Therefore brakes protect pedestrians, yourself and your passengers.

How the Brakes Work

The foot pedal controls the foot brake, which then causes the wheel cylinder to press against the wheel. The pressing against the wheel causes movement energy to be converted into heat by friction. Read below for common classic car brake repairs.


Classic car brake systems use hydraulic pressure to apply the brakes. If the system develops a leak or another loss of pressure, it can cause poor or spongy brakes. You must check all of the brake lines to look for signs of leaks. One of the easiest methods of doing this is to leave the car still but put your foot on the brake pedal and pump it a number of times.


Most classic cars will use drum brakes. Drums often have rubber seals which can start to break down as the car gets older. Jack your car up and take a look at all of the braking components.

Remove the drum so you can see the pads inside the system. If you notice any marks or signs of obvious damage, you will need to repair them. You might find it difficult to remove the drum on very old cars; first you can reduce the pressure on the drum through the adjustment slot at the back.

Take a look at the actual condition of the brake pads. If they are showing signs of obvious wear, you need to replace them.

You can sometimes deal with scouring marks on the surface of the drum by grinding them off. However, grinding may not be possible if the metal is very thin. If a repair is not possible, your only option will be a replacement part.


After you have replaced the classic car brake components, bleed the system to remove air bubbles from the line. Check the brakes by taking the car for a test drive, but be careful with it until the brakes have proved that they work.