What Is a Rear Wheel Cylinder?

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A car's rear wheel cylinder works with hydraulic fluid to push the brake pad shoes out. Discover how rear wheel cylinders work as part of a car's braking system with information from an auto mechanic in this free video on car parts and safety.

Part of the Video Series: Car Parts & Safety
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Video Transcript

Today's topic, is what is a rear wheel cylinder? This is a rear wheel cylinder. It works with hydraulic fluid, which comes through a line through the back. The fluid pushes the cylinders apart, pushing the brake pad shoes out. That pushes those shoes against the drum, which is turning, and when you push them out, it locks it against the drum. That's what a rear wheel cylinder is. A front wheel cylinder, is exactly the same. It does the same thing. There are different types of brakes. Most cars today, if they're a real quality car, have disc brakes, rather than drum brakes, but this is a wheel cylinder, and that's how it works. The fluid comes through it, pushes the two pistons out, pulls the shoes apart, locks them against that drum, and that makes it stop your car. This is what a rear wheel cylinder looks like, and that's how they work.

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