Driving a car is very unique experience. The feeling of freedom can be very addictive, that’s why many people want to get a car. But part of car ownership is responsibility. And one of the responsibilities of car owners is making sure that their car runs smoothly. One of the things that need to be regularly inspected is the car’s brake drum. This is a very important part of the car because the condition of the brakes will be one of the factors that will determine if you can drive safely.
Inspecting the car’s brake drums should be done with regularity and should be part of the regular inspection checks. Here are a few tips on how to inspect the brake drums:
Prepare for inspection
Inspecting the brake drum should be done with the proper preparation. Make sure the car is in a safe position since you will need to go under the car. Make sure the car is held up or jacked up firmly. You should also have a jack readily available because you’ll need it to take down the brake drum. As an extra precaution do this inspection after you have rested well so your mind is alert.
Remove the brake drum
Find out the maximum diameter of the brake drum. This will help you in taking down the drum. This information is usually stamped on the drum itself. Look for it on the outside of the drum. Clean the brake drum after you’ve taken it down. A brake cleaner will help removing any asbestos from the drum. Throw out the cloth you used to clean the drum after you’ve used it.
Inspect the brake drum
It’s now time to inspect the brake drum. The drum should be smooth. Any roughness in the surface is not a good sign. The same goes for any deep grooves or cracks on the drum. Make this inspection under adequate lighting so you’ll immediately see any irregularities.
Fix any scoring
Sometimes you’ll scoring on the drums. These are usually smooth and little. You can fix this by using an emery cloth. Scoring is not going to affect the efficacy of the brake drum when it comes to braking as long as the scoring is not deeper than 0.0020 inches. If you notice that the scoring is deeper than usual ask for a mechanic to look at it. Any cracks or scores that are deeper than 0.006 would entail the replacement of the drums.
Inspect the drums for roundness
The drum’s body should not change. It should maintain its round shape. Any deformities or tapering of the shape is not a good sign. A visual inspection is not enough because it could be too subtle to the naked eye. Measuring the diameter of the drum is the best way to do it.
Picture from Jetbomotors.com.hk