How to Inspect a Brake Drum

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Learn how to inspect the brake drum on a car with expert automotive tips in this free online auto repair and car maintenance video clip.

Part of the Video Series: How to Adjust Brake Drums on Cars
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Video Transcript

In these clips we're going to talk about the proper way to Inspect and adjust your drum style rear brakes. In this clip we're going to talk about inspection of your vehicles brake drum. This is my brake drum. As you can see it has a couple of things cast into its surface, that's going to indicate a little bit of information about it. It says maximum diameter 155 millimeters. The diameter is measured from the inside surface between here and here. The drum can only get so big as it wears before the structural integrity has been undermined. If you have a rear brake job performed and the drum is not is not in place, your mechanic is going to machine it, which is going to make it larger than it was. In this particular case, on my brake drum as you can see, the wearing surface inside here is extremely rusty, extremely rusty! What that indicates is my rear brakes are so far out of adjustment that they're not even functioning. What I mean by saying that they're self cleaning is as you apply the brakes the shoes come out and engage this surface with a very, very large amount of force. Enough force in fact to slow your vehicle down. That force takes and removes any kind of surface rust that develops over time. Like I said, you can see that this drum is going to need machine work before it is reinstalled. That's the proper way to inspect your brake drum.

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