How Brake Shoes Work

In a car, the most vital piece of equipment is the brake system, and brake shoes, which are part of the brake system, are an essential feature of this. Most modern brake shoes come in a set of four, with two shoes for each side of the car. These shoes differ on each side, with one brake shoe the primary, which has less friction on it, and the secondary brake shoe, which has more friction and faces to the back of the car. It is the difference between these two shoes, and the different pattern on them, which makes the shoes so effective when braking. In order to get the best from your shoes, it is important that you know exactly how they work.

Types of Brake Shoe

While most brake shoes have this difference in the friction capacity on each side, in some cases, the shoes are given identical amounts of friction, and the shoes can be placed in the primary and secondary position in whichever order the fitter likes. The impact of these kinds of shoe fittings has upon the braking system is nothing to be concerned about, as there is virtually no difference between the different types of brake shoe. The only real effect of your brake shoe upon your driving depends upon the quality of the shoe, with those of higher quality being more likely to withstand wear and tear, and to not be affected by regular use.

How Brake Shoes Work

The brake shoes are fitted inside the brake drum, and it is contact with this drum that causes the car to stop. When you apply your foot to the brake, the hydraulic fluid inside the brake pipes causes pressure on the shoes, which are then pushed to the inside of the drum. This friction stops the drum, and thereby prevents the car from moving forward. The brake shoes are also used as the emergency brake, as this uses direct pressure to force the shoes onto the drum. If you have a rear brake, the shoes will still be used to stop the car in the event of an emergency, so they are still vital for any kind of car.

When Brake Shoes Don't Work

Like every other part of the car, in time, brake shoes will begin to wear down. The first signs of this is an increase in the amount of distance your car travels before it brakes. You may also find that the brake pedal becomes "soft" or more easily moved. These are signs that you need to have the brake shoes replaced. Wear on the brake shoes reduces the amount of friction that they supply to the brake drum, so the stopping time is lengthened. If you try to manually adjust the brake shoes, you may find that the entire shoe "grabs" the drum, causing you to come to an emergency stop-like halt. This can be solved by reducing the amount of adjustment on the brakes.