The Differences Between Discs and Drums

Automotive brakes have made huge strides since they were first introduced. Drum brakes are old-fashioned brakes that are still used on most vehicles today. Disc brakes have tried to take over the entire system, but factors like price and manufacturing are taken into consideration. The difference between disc brakes and drum brakes is more than just one thing. Factors like how they stop the vehicle and how they are installed are a couple of differences. EBC brakes offer both disc brakes and brake shoes for your drum brakes.

Disc brakes, which are more common today, use a disc-shaped metal rotor that spins with the wheel itself. When the driver depresses the brake pedal, fluid runs to the caliper which is compressed onto the brake disc and slows down the wheel. The tires allow for friction which grabs the pavement and slows down the vehicle. Drum brakes, on the other hand, are more complex and use a wide cylinder that is open at the back. This appearance is similar to that of a drum, hence the name. When the driver depresses the brake pedal, brake shoes on the inside of the drum are pushed outwards, rubbing against the inside of the drum slowing down the wheel.

EBC disc brakes are far superior to drum brakes in many ways. They can dissipate heat much better since there is no housing like drum brakes. The inside of the drum heats up very quickly and brake fade occurs more times than not. EBC disc brakes do not experience any brake fade because they can be cooled down by the outside air. Drum brakes cannot perform as well in inclement weather like disc brakes can. Water will work its way inside the drum and affect the shoes from grabbing on the inside walls. Disc brakes flick off water as they rotate and keep dry for the most part.

You might be wondering why vehicles still use drum brakes if they aren’t as good as disc brakes. Well, for one, they are less expensive than disc brakes. Most of the braking is done by the front brakes. Nearly 70% of braking is done by the front and the rest is done by the rears. For this reason, equipping front brakes with discs and rears with drums makes sense. It costs much less and still provides great stopping power. Most of the benefits are still there, and most drivers will not even notice a difference from drum or disc brakes in the rear. They play a very little part in slowing down the vehicle.

Money is also saved because drum brakes have the parking brake integrated in them. For vehicles equipped with rear disc brakes, a separate parking brake must be integrated which makes costs rise. Car companies always look for a cheaper alternative, but in this case, they still provide quality stopping power.

Drum brakes utilize different parts than disc brakes. When it comes time for servicing, brake shoes need to be replaced, and sometimes the drum needs to be resurfaced. As for disc brakes, new brake pads are required and the brake rotor might need resurfacing or replaced as well. If brake pads and brake shoes are left on for too long, they will score the surface of the rotor and lead to replacement. Drum brakes have a small hole which the owner can look through to see if the EBC brake shoes need to be serviced.

If your vehicle has been built within the past 30 years or so, chances are it has drum brakes on the rear and disc brakes on the front. The more high performance vehicles come equipped with disc brakes all around which adds to the cost, but not many buyers will gripe over it. Drum brakes also look less appealing than disc brakes. If you are upgrading to aftermarket wheels, they will stand out even more and are sometimes hard to even look at. The drums will build up rust, but the surface can be polished if someone is up to the task. Disc brakes have a much more distinctive look over drums, and are hard to mix up.

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