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Old 01-30-2008, 07:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 128

Porthos - '96 Chevrolet Cavalier
90 day: 31.3 mpg (US)
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Drum brake adjustment

Yaristock, Autozone says you've got rear drum brakes. What cfg83 says is true, though you don't need to be going downhill. I won't go into a technical explanation, but every time you apply the brakes when backing up, they adjust a tiny bit. Usually, backing out of your driveway, or a parking space, daily is enough to keep them adjusted. The only times I've seen drum brakes need adjusting is when the adjuster is all gunked up or corroded; I doubt that's the case on your 2007. But if you're using the hypermiler technique of always finding pull-through parking spaces, and never wasting gas by backing up, they *could* need adjusting . I would suggest finding a safe place, like a side street or parking lot (duh, like you were going to do this on the highway), backing up and applying the brakes 10 or 12 times. Let off the pedal all the way between applications. If they were out of adjustment, that should take care of it.

Man, I think I'm showing my age with drum brake knowledge. It used to be really important when we had front drums. I've even got special tools for adjusting drum brakes without taking off the wheel and drum, they are in with my special points and timing tools . An old drag strip trick was to back off (un-adjust) the pads before racing, to elimiinate every last ounce of drag. Geez, I feel old. I used to throw a tarp over the car in the winter, put a blow dryer under there and start twisting wrenchs. Even froze my leg to a fender once. But my car is in the shop today 'cause I'm less tolerant of discomfort and I have more money.

Boy, I got way off topic there. Good luck, Yaristock.
Roll on,

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