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.