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Mercury Sable Brake Drum

Mercury Sable Brake Drum

Although brake discs have replaced brake drums in many vehicles, the cost-effectiveness of brake drums still make them the better option for cars like your Mercury Sable. Due to the importance of brake drums in vehicle safety, any problem with this component always requires immediate attention. If you feel that your brake system isn't performing as it should, it's time to jack up your car and do some troubleshooting. Here are some of the problems that you might find with your Mercury Sable brake drum:

Low brake pedal

Your brake drums are equipped with self-adjusting components, but these self-adjusters also get worn out over time. If your brake pedal feels very slack, you might have to manually adjust your brake drums. If corrosion has eaten up much of the self-adjusting components, then you will have to replace the self-adjusters and probably the brake shoes as well.

Shuddering or pulsating brakes

If you feel a vibration or pulsation whenever you apply the brakes, you might want to check if your brake drums are already out of shape. Excessive heat can sometimes result to oval brake drums and uneven wear on the surface of the drums. Machining the brake drums can solve these issues, but if the brake drums will exceed the maximum diameter after machining, they will have to be replaced.

Cracked or martensite spotted drums

If you see hairline cracks, long deep fractures, or slightly raised dark spots, then your brake drums have probably been subjected to excessive heat. Short, fine cracks don't really present too much danger to your braking system, but deep cracks and martensite spots would usually require machining or replacement of the brake drums. You should also look out for other factors that might be causing the extreme heat such as worn-out brake linings or intense driving style.

Other troubleshooting tips

Corrosion and oil on the surface of the brake drums are also major causes of brake drum failure. If you notice a light film of grease on your brake drums, check the other components of your brake system such as the hoses and lines for any leaks.

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  • Getting the Most Out of Your Mercury Sable Brake Drum

    Disc brakes may have proven to be more powerful than drum brakes, but when it comes to fuss-free maintenance, drum brakes still take the cake. Your average brake drums usually last about three to four times longer than your brake discs. However, your brake drums can still display a few signs of failure from time to time. To reduce the risk of Mercury Sable brake drum issues, follow these maintenance guidelines:

    Regularly check the diameter of your brake drums.

    Discarding your brake drums when they exceed the maximum diameter is common knowledge, but only some people actually know when their brake drums are nearing the end of their serviceable life. Regularly measuring your brake drums will allow you to avoid needing a brake drum replacement right when you're in the middle of the freeway. Most mechanics recommend replacing your brake drums when they're about 0.060 inches over the maximum diameter.

    Machine the brake drums only when absolutely necessary.

    Many drivers often have their brake drums turned every time they have their brakes serviced. However, unnecessary machining just reduces your brake drum material and the overall life of your brake drums. Check if your brake drums actually have raised spots or an uneven surface before having them turned. If machining them will make them exceed the maximum diameter, just replace them instead.

    Adjust your brake drums as needed.

    Although most brake drums have self-adjusting components, adjusting them manually from time to time will still help prolong their lifespan. Make sure to adjust the brake shoes, parking brake, and the self-adjusters to ensure that your brakes will be performing at their maximum efficiency. When you're installing new brakes, manual adjustment is definitely a must.

    Keep your brake drums clean and properly lubricated.

    Brake drums are very prone to corrosion, so cleaning them regularly is essential. When cleaning your brake drums, brush off the rust and dirt first before spraying the brake drums with a special brake cleaning solution. After cleaning your brake drums, make sure to oil up the backing plate with a brake lubricant to reduce the metal-to-metal friction between the brake drums and the brake shoes.