Mastering the Art of Changing Drum Brake Pads on Your Car

Are you looking to change the drum brake pads on your car? Not sure where to start? Well, you're in luck! In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of how to change drum brake pads on a car. Whether you're a seasoned mechanic or a first-time DIY enthusiast, this guide will provide you with easy-to-understand instructions on how to replace your brake pads and keep your car running smoothly.

Before we jump into the how-to's, let's quickly touch on why changing your brake pads is crucial for your car's safety and performance. Your brake pads play a vital role in stopping your vehicle by creating friction with the drums or rotors. Over time, these pads wear down and become less effective, potentially jeopardizing your ability to stop quickly and safely.

Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of changing your drum brake pads. First and foremost, ensure you have all the necessary tools for the job, including a lug wrench, jack, jack stands, C-clamp, and a new set of brake pads. Once you have everything ready, follow these simple steps:
1. Begin by loosening the lug nuts on the wheel and raising your car using a jack.
2. Remove the wheel to gain access to the brake drum.
3. Locate the brake adjuster mechanism and back it off to release tension on the brake shoes.
4. Remove the brake drum carefully, ensuring not to damage the wheel studs.
5. Inspect the brake drum's surface, and if necessary, have it resurfaced or replaced.
6. Next, remove the old brake shoes from the backing plates.
7. Install the new brake shoes onto the backing plates, making sure they are correctly aligned.
8. Adjust the brake shoes and ensure proper clearance.
9. Place the brake drum back onto the wheel studs and tighten it securely.
10. Finally, reinstall the wheel, lower your car, and tighten the lug nuts.

Following these steps will help you successfully change the drum brake pads on your car, ensuring your vehicle stays safe and performing optimally. If you're interested in learning more about car maintenance, you may want to check out our articles on using oven cleaner to clean your car engine and the best air filter for your car engine. Happy tinkering!

How to Change Drum Brake Pads on a Car

Are your car's drum brake pads worn out and in need of replacement? Don't worry, changing drum brake pads on a car is a task that can be easily accomplished with the right tools and a little bit of knowledge. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of changing drum brake pads on your car, ensuring safe and efficient braking performance. So, let's get started on this important maintenance task.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Equipment

Before you begin the process of changing drum brake pads on your car, it's important to gather all the necessary tools and equipment. You will need the following:

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • C-clamp
  • Brake cleaner
  • New drum brake pads
  • Brake grease

Make sure you have all these items ready before you proceed to ensure a smooth and efficient brake pad replacement.

Safely Lift the Car

The first step in changing drum brake pads on a car is to safely lift the vehicle off the ground. Locate the designated lifting points on your car's frame and use a jack to raise the car. Once the car is lifted, place jack stands under the frame for additional support and safety. This will prevent the car from accidentally falling while you work on the brakes.

Remove the Wheel and Drum

With the car lifted and secured, it's time to remove the wheel and drum. Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts and remove them. Once the lug nuts are off, carefully remove the wheel. Next, you'll need to remove the drum. In some cases, it might be stuck due to rust or brake dust. Gently tap the drum with a rubber mallet to loosen it. If it still won't budge, you can use a brake drum puller.

Once the drum is removed, you will have access to the brake shoes and the brake system components. Inspect the brake system for any signs of damage or wear, and replace any components as necessary.

Replace the Drum Brake Pads

Now that the drum is removed, it's time to replace the drum brake pads. Start by locating the brake adjuster and release the tension on the brake shoes. Once the tension is released, carefully remove the brake shoes and the old brake pads. Clean the brake system components with brake cleaner to remove any brake dust or debris.

Next, take the new drum brake pads and apply a thin layer of brake grease to the contact points. This will help reduce noise and ensure smooth operation. Install the new brake pads and reassemble the brake system components. Adjust the brake shoes and ensure they are properly aligned.

Finally, reattach the drum and wheel, and tighten the lug nuts securely. Lower the car from the jack stands and repeat the process for the other wheels.

Changing the drum brake pads on your car is a vital maintenance task that should be done regularly to ensure optimal braking performance. By following these simple steps and using the right tools, you can successfully replace the drum brake pads on your car and enjoy safe and reliable braking.

FAQs - How to Change Drum Brake Pads on a Car

Q: Why do I need to change the drum brake pads on my car?

A: Drum brake pads are an essential component of your car's braking system. Over time, they wear down and become less effective at stopping your vehicle. By replacing the drum brake pads, you ensure optimal braking performance and safety on the road.

Q: How often should I change my drum brake pads?

A: The frequency of drum brake pad replacement can vary depending on driving habits, road conditions, and the type of vehicle. As a general guideline, it is recommended to inspect your brake pads every 20,000 miles or as suggested by your car's manufacturer. If you notice any signs of wear, such as squeaking or reduced braking power, it is time to replace them.

Q: Can I change the drum brake pads myself?

A: While it is possible to change drum brake pads on your own, it is a task that requires a certain level of mechanical knowledge and experience. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional mechanic to ensure the brake pads are installed correctly and safely.

Q: What tools do I need to change drum brake pads?

A: To change drum brake pads, you will typically need a few basic tools. This includes a jack and jack stands for lifting and supporting your vehicle, a lug wrench for removing the wheel, a drum brake adjustment tool or screwdriver, pliers, a brake spring removal tool, and new brake pads. It is essential to consult your car's manual for any specific tools or instructions unique to your vehicle's make and model.

Q: Is it necessary to replace both sets of drum brake pads at the same time?

A: It is generally recommended to replace both sets of drum brake pads at the same time for optimal and balanced braking performance. However, if you notice uneven wear or damage on only one set of brake pads, you can replace them individually. It is important to remember that maintaining balance in your vehicle's braking system is crucial for safe and efficient braking.

Q: How can I ensure the drum brake pads are installed correctly?

A: Proper installation of drum brake pads is essential for safe and effective braking. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines specific to your vehicle. Additionally, double-checking the positioning of the brake pads, ensuring proper alignment, and conducting a thorough test of the braking system before driving are all crucial for installation accuracy.


Changing drum brake pads on your car is an essential maintenance task that ensures optimal braking performance and safety. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this article, you can confidently replace the old worn-out brake pads with new ones, prolonging the lifespan of your drum brakes.

Remember to always prioritize safety and use the necessary tools and equipment when working on your car's brakes. It is advisable to consult your car's manual or seek professional assistance if you are unsure or uncomfortable performing the task yourself.

Regularly inspecting and replacing brake pads when necessary can prevent potential brake failures, reduce the risk of accidents, and save you money in the long run. By maintaining your car's brake system, you can drive with confidence, knowing that your vehicle can stop safely and efficiently.

For more helpful car maintenance tips and guides, check out our article on using oven cleaner to clean your car engine and our guide to finding the best air filter for your car engine.