Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

How much does it cost to replace a brake wheel cylinder

If you have a leaking wheel cylinder, it’s best to get a complete brake job

Wheel cylinder replacement cost

A new wheel cylinder is not an expensive part, usually costing around $40-$60 at a shop. image of new wheel cylinderBut replacing a wheel cylinder requires disassembling the brake retracting springs and brake shoes. If your wheel cylinder is leaking, chances are the brake shoes are ruined anyway. In other words, replacing a brake wheel cylinder requires almost all the labor required to perform a drum brake job. A typical rear wheel brake job runs around $500 plus the cost of the wheel cylinder. That assumes, however, that the brake line isn’t rusted solid. If the shop has to replace the brake line, it’ll cost a lot more.

If the drum brake shoes and springs are in good condition, wheel cylinder replacement cost is around $200 to $350 depending on the year, make, and model.

However, if the wheel cylinder fails due to a leak and the brake fluid has contaminated the brake shoes, then you’re looking at a full drum brake job cost of around $500 to $600.

Wheel cylinder failures usually damage the brake shoes

Brake wheel cylinders can fail in two ways: 1) they leak brake fluid, or 2) they seize. Leaking is the most common cause of wheel cylinder failure. Here’s an example of what the auto tech usually finds when a wheel cylinder has failed.

At this point, you’re looking at a complete brake job. The brake fluid has contaminated the brake shoes and everything must be replaced.

image leaking wheel cylinder and damaged brake shoes

Leaking wheel cylinder

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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