How to Buy a Good Quality Brake Wheel Cylinder

Drum brakes, which are still in use today on the rear of many vehicles, operate on a hydraulic basis, using brake fluid to apply pressure to pistons in the wheel cylinder, which in turn presses the brake shoes against the drum and stops the wheels.

The wheel cylinder is made up of metal housing, pistons, and seals, and is hidden away inside the drum, making it difficult to diagnose a problem unless the drum is removed. If the cylinder has become severely worn or damaged, an obvious brake fluid leak may alert you to a problem but otherwise you might not know something’s wrong until your brakes malfunction. To avoid complete brake failure, the wheel cylinder should be replaced as soon as you notice a leak.

The wheel cylinders should also be replaced when the brake shoes are being changed for a couple of reasons: firstly, it’s better to do the whole thing at once than to have to tear everything apart again if the cylinder fails after a few thousand more miles. Secondly, new brake shoes are thicker than old ones and will push the pistons back to a position where corrosion may have developed around the bore, which could cause leaks.

To make sure you’re getting a good quality brake wheel cylinder:

  • Quality: Make sure the part meets SAE J431-G3000 standards.

  • Go for a smooth sealing surface: Check for a bore finish of 5-25 RA microinches; this ensure a smooth sealing surface.

  • Go for the “premium” version: The difference between standard and premium wheel cylinders is insignificant, price wise, and with a premium cylinder you get higher quality metal, better seals, and a smoother bore.

  • Longer part life: Look for premium SBR cups and EPDM boots. These ensure long life and durability.

  • Corrosion resistance: Make sure the bleeder screws are plated in order to add corrosion resistance.

  • Match the metal: If your original wheel cylinder was cast iron, get that. If it was aluminum, likewise.

  • Warranty: Shop around for the best warranty. It is possible to find a lifetime warranty on this part so make sure you do your homework.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality brake wheel cylinders to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a brake wheel cylinder that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on brake wheel cylinder replacement.


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Recent Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement reviews

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(138)

Rating Summary
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5
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Jamahl

20 years of experience
830 reviews
Jamahl
20 years of experience
Nissan Sentra L4-2.0L - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Orlando, Florida
Very professional and friendly. Always communicated with me what and where the process of the repair is at. He encountered some delays but he was always on top of things and always informed me about the updated time frame. Will definitely work with him again.
Hyundai Elantra - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Kissimmee, Florida
This was the first major maintenance I've done on my car since I've gotten it 2 years ago. Anything he found he told or showen me.

Jacob

12 years of experience
329 reviews
Jacob
12 years of experience
Chevrolet C1500 V6-4.3L - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Passenger Side) - Richardson, Texas
Jacob was prompt and efficient! He really did a great job and found some other issues with the vehicle which will be having repaired. A lifesaver great personality! Will definitely book with him again.
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side) - The Colony, Texas
Jacob was thorough, before starting any work he inspected the vehicle to determine if there was a larger issue. He was able to identify the problem and proceeded to fix it.

James

25 years of experience
47 reviews
James
25 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler L6-4.0L - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side) - Nashville, Tennessee
Arrived on time. Very friendly. Listened well to my issues and problem solved it immediately. Was extremely pleased with his work and his ethics! Would definitely recommend!

Larry

16 years of experience
114 reviews
Larry
16 years of experience
GMC K2500 V8-7.4L - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Columbus, Ohio
Larry is very knowledgeable. He gets the job done and walks you through the repairs. Larry came and fixed faulty work completed by a different yourmechanic.com mechanic no longer with them. Larry is the only mechanic of this company in Columbus. He showed me the parts and the work completed unlike the last mechanic that charged me but did not complete the work properly. Don't hesitate to work with Larry. He even checks to make sure everything works.

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