Calculating Average Repair Costs for Drum Brakes
As one of the most important functional parts on any automobile, it is crucial that drum brakes are kept in good working condition throughout the useful life of your car. The cost of drum brake repairs will vary depending on a number of different factor, which will be explained below. If you do suspect that you have a problem with your drum brakes, do not wait to either repair them yourself or have a professional mechanic take a look at them, as bad brakes will drastically affect the safety of your vehicle.
One of the best habits that you can get into when driving is to periodically turn off your radio and any other sources of noise in your car and listen to how your vehicle sounds while you are driving in different situations. If something sounds suspicious while you are operating your vehicle, it is probably a good idea to have it looked at by someone who can diagnose car trouble. By being proactive about the maintenance of your vehicle instead of waiting until you are stranded on the side of the road somewhere, you can save yourself money on repair costs. In the case of drum brakes, listen for a distinctive grinding noise coming from your wheel wells when you slow down to a stop. This will be an early indication that your brakes are in need of service. Alternatively, it is a bad sign if you feel a bumping or jerky sensation in your foot as you apply your brakes when approaching a stop.
If you do notice minor cases of the above problems—either sounds or feelings that do not seem normal—there is a good chance that all that will need to be fixed on your car will be your brake pads. In general, this is a repair that a moderately handy person can do himself if you trust yourself. Remember, however, that brakes are extremely important to your car, so if you are not comfortable with repairing your own vehicle be sure to take it to a professional. If you decide to purchase brake pads yourself, be sure to always buy them in pairs, since you want your pads to wear evenly on either side. Brake pads will typically cost around $15 per wheel at a local auto parts store.
In instances where the noises or feelings that you have noticed in your vehicle are more severe than just a minor sensation then you may have waited too long to replace your brake pads, causing problems with your brake rotors. Replacing your rotors is also a job that is possible to complete at home, although it is admittedly a bit more involved than simply replacing brake pads. Rotors for cars will typically cost between $30 and $60 per wheel.
The amount of money you can expect to spend on brake repair at a professional mechanic can vary dramatically depending on how many of your brakes have gone bad, where you take your car to be serviced, and the type of vehicle you own. As a general rule of thumb, brake repair can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,000, depending on these variables.