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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(129)

Rating Summary
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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.

Jordan

8 years of experience
19 reviews
Jordan
8 years of experience
Mitsubishi Lancer L4-2.0L - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side, Passenger Side) - Winter Haven, Florida
Jordan is a cut above the rest, he does a fantastic job and is super knowledgeable about cars and repairs. My brakes are like new and we feel very safe knowing Jordan did the job.His work is exceptional and we feel very lucky to have him as our mechanic. He will be back next week for the third job on our car.

Nathaniel

10 years of experience
258 reviews
Nathaniel
10 years of experience
Ford Taurus V6-3.0L - Brake Wheel Cylinder Replacement (Driver Side) - Chesapeake, Virginia
Very professional, courteous and knowledgeable. I highly recommend Nathaniel. I would like to request him again if I need repairs in the future.

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