One of the most important safety devices that are often overlooked on newer automobiles are the parking brake shoes. Most vehicles that have been manufactured in the last fifteen years come equipped with four wheel disc brakes. When you have rear disc brakes they require separate shoes for the parking brake system. The parking brake is often referred to as the emergency brake and it is very essential to keep them functioning properly for safety reasons. This is what we depend on to hold our cars and trucks from moving when they are parked and is very important when parking on inclines. They are engaged by the emergency brake pedal or handle activating a cable assembly manually holding them in place to lock the rear wheels. The parking brake shoes are not used while you're driving and braking during normal applications. Normal braking is accomplished by the disc brakes using the brake callipers and brake pads applying pressure to the rotors when you push the brake pedal. All brake systems are designed to safety slow down and stop our vehicles, and all brake system components, including parking brake shoes, need to be serviced and replaced at times otherwise repairs may be necessary.
Older vehicles had drum brakes instead of disc brakes, and that type of system used the same brake shoes for driving and the parking brake. Parking brake shoes are located behind the rotor and work similar to a drum brake system. The rear brake rotor incorporates a small drum on the back side that houses the shoes. When the emergency brake pedal or handle is locked into place, the cable assembly activates the parking brake shoes by applying pressure to the inside of this drum on the rear brake rotors; keeping the vehicle stationary. This prevents it from moving and causing damage while it is parked.
It's not a very complicated process to replace parking brake shoes. You can do this yourself in an hour or less per side on most automobiles.