service notes

Brake Drums and Rotors



Description: Brake drums and rotors are the spinning members of the braking system that come in contact with the lining material from the brake shoes and pads. Drums are usually made of cast iron and rotors may be made of cast iron, or a composite of cast iron and a stamped steel center section.

Drum Brake System Conventional brake drum

Purpose: Drums and rotors provide the mating surface for brake shoes and pads. Because of the heat generated from all the friction, a drum or rotor must be able to remain stable even when subjected to the temperatures of repeated braking.

Difference: The Drum fits over the sytem and the Brake Shoes are pushed outward by the wheel cylinder to grab the drum. With Disc Brakes the Caliper pinches the spinning Rotor between the Brake Pads. Drum Brakes are typically found in the rear while Disc Brakes are often in the front.

Disc Brake System

conventional disc brakes


Maintenance Tips/Suggestions:
Have your car’s brakes inspected annually to make sure everything’s OK. It’s always best to be able to plan ahead for brake work by knowing brake condition as your car ages. Brakes are a normal wear item for any car, so sooner or later they’re going to need replacement.

Planning can also save you money, because the brakes won’t get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which usually means expensive rotor or drum replacement. Symptoms of brake problems may include dragging brakes, squealing brakes, a pulsating brake pedal (with ABS not functioning), grinding brakes, a low brake pedal or pulling when braking. If your car exhibits any of these symptoms, have it checked out by a qualified technician as soon as possible.

About "Cheap" Brake Jobs :
In some cases all you need is a new set of pads or shoes which can be fairly inexpensive. Generally, the high friction and heat applied to Drums and Rotors causes pitting and warping on their surfaces. If these are not resurfaced braking efficiency will be adversely affected. The Drums or Rotors will get lots of wear on high spots causing excessive heat and reduced braking efficiency. High spots turn into "hot spots" making it impossible to resurface the Drum or Rotor the next time you need a brake job. So that cheap brake job doesn't really save you any money.

It takes a professional technicians skill and measurements to advise you of the condition of the drums or rotors when estimating the cost of a brake job.

For a Dependable Motor Vehicle
visit us in the Redwood Auto Care Center
Across the street from the Skyview Drive-In

2335 Soquel Drive
Santa Cruz CA 95065
Monday-Friday/8:00 am-5:00 pm