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Drum Brakes vs Disc Brakes

Drum Brakes vs Disc Brakes

The best way to break down the differences is by evaluating three categories: Maintenance, Performance, and Value.


  • Disc brake – one moving part -> caliper
  • Drum brake – between 9 and 12 moving parts
    • You can expect a longer life expectancy with disc brakes due to fewer moving parts and more effective heat dissipation
  • Friction pads are easily accessible for replacement and inspection
  • Easy access to the caliper for cleaning and maintenance
  • The entire caliper can be removed for maintenance without removing rotor and hub
  • The entire rotor can be removed for maintenance without removing the hub



  • Calipers are self-adjusting to eliminate unequal braking from one side to the other -> resulting in smoother braking (no need for brake adjustments)
  • Dirt, water, or rust contamination are less likely to have an affect on brake performance
  • Decreased lock-up and wheel skid as compared to hydraulically or electrically operated drum brakes
  • Fade-resistant



Disc brakes have a lower ownership and maintenance cost over the expected life of the vehicle

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