Reader Question Hello I own a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer AWD, I recently went to a shop to have my brakes look at due to squealing and they showed me the “brake shoe” and told me that it was totally worn out because of something to do with my emergency brake but I hardly ever use my emergency brake
They told me I had to replace the brake shoes but everything else was fine I looked at my pads and rotors and they seemed fine.
I didn’t hear any squealing on my way home but a few hours later when I was in my car again I heard the squealing when I first started to break but it doesn’t always squeal. Is this due to the type of brake pads?
AND what does the brake shoe actually do? Please let me know cause I really do not want to go back to this place it just seems like they are trying to rip me off.
I have seen issues similar to this where the emergency brake cables would rust/freeze up and cause one of the rear brake shoes to wear down much more than the other wheel where there is no emergency brake problem.
If both rear brake shoes on both sides of the vehicle are worn down about the same I would assume the emergency brake is not the issue and the brake shoes are just due for a change.
If for example the passenger side brake shoes are worn completely down but the driver side brake shoes are still in good shape, then you probably do have some kind of emergency brake or other brake problem causing the passenger side brake to be applied as you are driving.
If you are up north were they salt the roads or live on the coast line then rusty emergency brake cables could be your culprit. And you don’t have to use your emergency brake often, actually using it less often is more likely to allow rust to set up and not allow the cable to release fully thus cause your brake shoes to “drag” and wear out prematurely. You can soak these cables in penetrating oil like WD40 or replace them completely.
On the brake squeal issue. This noise MIGHT go away over time as the new pads break in, or it could be caused by poor quality brake pads or there could be missing pieces, mainly brake shims and anti rattle clips that could have broken off or not been reinstalled.
BUT you only got your rear brake shoes replaced and NOT your front brake pads replaced right? Usually brake shoes do not squeal, but brake pads do.
Brake shoes are long wide and have a curve to them,while brake pads are thin and flat and fit in the palm of your hand.
I found this picture and excellent explanation of the entire brake system and how it works.