We are going to kick off our Tech Tricks Tuesday Blog with a three-part how-to on rear drum brake inspection and how to do it thoroughly and correctly so that it is done right the first time around so as not to miss anything.
We were able to locate a 2004 Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck that has had the very minimum of brake service ever performed on it. In fact, the vehicle has 141,000 plus miles on it and has never even had the front caliper removed since the vehicle was manufactured (prior to the photo inspection work).
The rear shoes were replaced at approximately 30,000 miles because of a rear axle lubrication issue when both axle seals leaked. Other than adding brake fluid as a maintenance item nothing more had been done on the brake system.
After road testing the vehicle and finding no faults with pedal feel, pulls or other normal brake operation the Tacoma was raised on a lift for the hands on brake inspection/diagnosis.
General Wheel/Brake Service Tip
It may not be a big deal 99 times out of 100 but by knowing the specific location of what wheel hole came off what specific stud you have the ability to return the wheel to the exact position it was before any service started. This will help when you have a vehicle vibration issue after the wheels are reinstalled after service and can save countless hours of trying to figure out what the cause of the problem is.
Everyone uses an impact wrench to remove lug nuts and no one is saying you shouldn’t but we are asking you to pay attention when you do. Listen for any variation in the wrench’s sound that may indicate a stripped or burred stud. If a lug nut comes off and is hot compared to the others, figure out why and plan to cure the cause rather than just run the nut back on and hope for the best. This will only cause future problems for the vehicle’s owner.
Another tire/brake service tip
Mark the location of where the tire/wheel assembly came from. No big thing? Think of the vehicles you have had to check balance on because of a vibration after some wheel off service. This also identifies the location so if you are asked to rotate the tires and they are stacked on top of each other on each side of the vehicle you can be positive of what goes where.
We will have more of the story on how to properly perform a rear drum brake inspection next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.