Wheel Cylinders Wheel Cylinders

Wheel Cylinders

What are wheel cylinders?

Wheel cylinders are part of the rear drum brake system on a vehicle. Wheel cylinders are piston like parts that when the brake pedal is pressed, hydraulic fluid is pressured into the brake cylinder. This causes the pistons on either side of the cylinder to expand outward which presses the brake shoes up against the brake drum. This provide braking for the rear axle on the vehicle.

How do I choose the correct wheel cylinder?

Brake systems can vary between the same model of vehicle. With this in mind there are a number of different factors to consider when choosing correct replacement wheel cylinders. We recommend reading any compatibility notes listed next to a part that is shown as correct for your vehicle.

Some of these compatibility notes can include:

  • Original manufacturer of the brake system

  • Diameter of the piston

  • Number of mounting holes

  • Does vehicle have ABS

  • Vehicle manufacture date (this is not the date the vehicle was registered but the date it was made

  • VIN (chassis number) sequence (up to or after as specific number/letter

What brand of wheel cylinder should I choose?

Brands such as Bosch and TRW manufacture brake system parts directly for the original vehicle manufacturer. These would be classed as premium brands. This is reflected in their cost.

There are high quality aftermarket brands such as Apec, Blue Print, Borg & Beck, Febi and Juratek that offer long warranty cover which shows the confidence they have in the quality of their products.

The brand you choose is likely down to your budget and the length of warranty provided. We’d recommend the brand with 2 or more years warranty cover.

How can I tell my wheel cylinder needs replacing?

As brake cylinders are fitted inside the brake drum it is not possible to see if there are any issues with them. We would always recommend that you have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic to receive an accurate diagnosis that your wheel cylinder needs attention.

Some of the symptoms of a faulty of failing wheel cylinder are:

  • Soft or spongy brake pedal feel

  • Poor braking performance

  • Leaking or losing of brake fluid

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