Buick LeSabre Drum Resurfacing Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Brake Drum Reface
The average cost for a Buick LeSabre brake shoe replacement, resurface drums is between $224 and $321. Labor costs are estimated between $176 and $222 while parts are priced between $48 and $99. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: The cost of this service or repair can vary by location, your vehicle's make and model, and even your engine type. Related repairs may also be needed. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs might be right for you.
Brake Drum Reface

What is a brake drum?

Many older passenger vehicles use drum brake systems on the rear wheels. Brake drums are the final part of the braking system, and use friction created by the brake shoes to slow or stop the vehicle. When the brake shoes are changed, the brake drums must be replaced as well. However, if sufficient thickness remains, the inner lining of the brake drum may be resurfaced to a like-new condition.

How does a brake drum work?

As the term “drum brake” implies, the brake drum is shaped like a very short drum laying on its side. This drum rotates with the vehicle's wheel until the brake shoes are forced against the inner sides of the drum to create braking force. The brake drum transmits this braking force directly to the wheels, and causes the vehicle to slow down.

What are the symptoms of a brake drum issue?

Brake drums require more maintenance than the more modern disc brake. When they have been subjected to abnormally hard use, the heat they absorb can cause the metal to turn blue, and cracking of the brake drum may occur. Customers often specify they have lost braking power, or the vehicle's brakes are making noise. There may however, be no symptoms at all related to replacing or resurfacing the brake drums, since it is recommended to resurface or change brake drums when performing a standard drum brake service.

Learn more about brake drum symptoms

Can I drive with a brake drum problem?

It is not safe to operate any vehicle with any braking problem. If there is any sign that the brakes are not performing as originally intended, the vehicle should immediately be placed out of service and repaired. If the rotors are being replaced as part of routine maintenance, the vehicle can safely be driven to a repair shop.



How often do brake drums need to be replaced?

There is no specific replacement interval for this part. Brake drums, like brake discs, have a minimum thickness specification from the manufacturer. As long as there is sufficient material left on the drum brake's braking surface, the drum can continued to be used and resurfaced as needed. If the drum's thickness is worn beyond that specification, replacement will be required.

How are brake drums diagnosed?

Trained technicians have replaced or resurfaced hundreds, if not thousands, of brake drums throughout their careers and training. The signs they look for when brake drums are suspected of failure are deep grooves, stress fractures, and a blue color indicating the brake drum has exceeded the allowable heat range. If any of these conditions exist, the technician will recommend replacement or resurfacing as appropriate.

Brake Shoe Replacement, Resurface Drums Cost Estimates

The average cost for a Brake Shoe Replacement, Resurface Drums is between $224 and $321 but can vary from car to car.

How is a brake drum replaced?

To replace a brake drum, the wheel, brake drum, brake shoe retaining hardware, and brake shoes must be removed from the vehicle. If the drums are being replaced, the replacement drum is cleaned of grease, oil, or other contaminants. The brake shoes, brake shoe mounting hardware, and brake drum will then be installed on the vehicle. If the brake drum is eligible for resurfacing, according to roundness and thickness, the drum will be installed on a large piece of industrial equipment known as a brake lathe. The brake lathe resurfaces the drum by spinning the drum while a stationary metal cutting head is applied to the inner surface. Once the cutting head has made several “passes” on the interior of the drum, it will be cleaned, and measured to ensure adequate thickness has been retained. If the thickness is too low, the drum must be replaced, otherwise, the drum will be cleaned, and installed by sliding onto the wheel studs, after the brake shoes and retaining hardware are installed. Afterwards the wheel is installed, and the brakes must be adjusted for proper clearance between the brake shoe and the brake drum.

RepairPal recommendations for brake drum issues

When replacing a brake drum, it is important to replace the corresponding brake drum on the other side of the vehicle. This will ensure that braking power is even and predictable. Brake shoes show wear patterns after many times of grinding into the old brake drum, and must be replaced to avoid brake noise, uneven braking pressure, and unpredictable braking performance.

What to look out for when dealing with brake drum issues

Any grease or automotive fluid besides water on the brake drum will instantly contaminate the brake shoes, necessitating replacement. If they are not replaced, the brakes shoes will be incapable of producing the necessary amount of friction to stop the vehicle as intended. To avoid this, the brake drums should be cleaned with brake parts cleaner prior to installation, even if new drums are being installed.

Can I replace the brake drums myself?

Specialized heavy equipment is necessary to resurface a brake drum. There are several products available to consumers to resurface brakes at home, on the vehicle, but these products will not produce the smooth, flat finish necessary for proper mating to a new, flat brake pad. If a resurfacing service is not available, the drum should be replaced with a new part for occupant safety.