How to Adjust a Cars Rear Drum Brakes


Every car has brakes that wear out and need to be adjusted to maintain stopping distances and braking power. Some cars still have rear drum brakes and front disc brakes. The rear drum brakes can be adjusted automatically in all vehicles. Most newer vehicles will have disc brakes on the front and rear and can't be adjusted by the method specified.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacant Parking lot
  • Car manual
  • Take car to open lot and shift gear selector into reverse. Check the vehicle manual if you are not sure if the car is equipped with drum brakes in the rear.

  • Drive vehicle backward and press brake pedal on and off slowly as you are going backwards. If no change is noticed apply quick braking force during backing up in reverse.

  • Continue hitting brake pedal 8 to 10 times and each time the automatic adjuster will move brake shoes outward and adjust for brake wear. If still no difference is noticed brakes may be worn out beyond adjustments.

Tips & Warnings

  • This can also be done backing out of driveways. Just by applying excessive braking action during backing up. Brake adjustment should be done every three months.
  • Be careful and pay attention backing up and braking.
  • Take car in to service shop if any grinding noises are heard, which indicates brakes are worn out and need to be changed.
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