In most cases, there are only 12 brake repair parts necessary for a full brake installation. This total is arrived at easily when you consider that there is 1 brake disc or drum at each wheel (for a total for 4), and 2 brake pads or shoes (for a total of 8). While there are other parts that may go bad, these 12 brake repair parts are the major components that are usually replaced during a brake job, and will be the focus of this article.
In disc brakes, the major brake components are the brake rotors and brake pads. The rotor is a disc that spins with the wheels of the car, while the pads are held in the brake caliper and squeezed against the rotor to apply the friction necessary to slow your vehicle.
In drum brakes, the major components are the brake drum and the brake shoes that reside within it. As with disc brakes, the brake drum spins with the wheel. However, the braking surface is actually inside the drum in this case. Inside the drum are two brake shoes that face in opposite directions – one forward and one rearward. When you apply the brakes, these shoes are pushed outwards into the brake drum, causing the friction that slows your car down.
In each of these brake system designs, the components wear down over time with repeated use. In most cases it is the pads or shoes that wear down first, but it’s often best to match new pads or shoes with new rotors or drums to ensure the best braking possible.