Auto technician inspecting brake pads

Schedule Service

Find Your Local Store:
Brakes Zip Code Input GO

Schedule Service

Your Nearest Store:

1558 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL

firestone storefront
Most stores are open nights and weekends

Store Hours:
Day(s) Hours
MON-FRI: 6:00am-8:00pm
SAT: 7:00am-6:00pm
SUN: 8:00am-5:00pm
Schedule An Appointment Learn more about Brake Service

Disk Brakes vs. Drum Brakes

Firestone complete auto care performs nearly one million brake repairs every year.

Types of Brakes: Disc Brakes vs. Drum Brakes

Every vehicle comes equipped with brakes. But do you know whether your vehicle has disc brakes or drum brakes? And what’s the difference between disc and drum brakes? If you’re confused, give yourself a break. Firestone Complete Auto Care has the answers to your brake questions.

Every car comes with two front brakes and two rear brakes. Cars made before the early 1970s typically have drum brakes in the front and rear. Cars made after the early 1970s tend to have either disc brakes on all four wheels or disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. Both brake types use a hydraulic braking system as well as a brake pad or brake shoe to create friction, causing a vehicle to stop when the driver applies pressure to the brake pedal.

Schedule An Appointment 


Disc brakes use calipers, brake rotors and brake pads. Each disc brake has a brake pad on both sides that pushes against the brake rotor when the driver applies pressure to the brake pedal. Disc brakes can typically provide better stopping power than drum brakes.

How often do rotors need service? Brake rotors, typically should be replaced about every 15,000 to 70,000 miles. You generally can’t go more than 50,000 miles without replacing the brake pads.

One of the expert technicians at Firestone Complete Auto Care can determine whether it’s time to resurface or replace your disc brakes. During our free brake check*, our professionals will check the integrity of brake system components such as calipers, brake lines, rotors, and pads, and check and test the levelof brake fluid.


Drum brakes use a wheel cylinder to push the brake shoes against the drum when the driver pushes the brake pedal. They have brake shoes that press against the drum when the driver pushes the brake pedal. Drum brakes have springs that retract the brake shoes when pressure is not applied, which can cause less drag and help improve fuel economy.

How often do car drum brakes need replacing? The drums themselves are made to last roughly 200,000 miles. However, all vehicles are different. It's best to schedule routine brake inspections at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care to ensure you're not driving on work brakes.

If you're unsure about whether you should get your drums resurfaced or replaced, visit your local Firestone Complete Auto Care for a free brake check. *Brake service costs extra.

What Are The Advantages of Disc Brakes On Cars

All-wheel disc brakes—common on many vehicles —typically perform better in terms of stopping while steering than drum brakes. Disc brakes have fewer moving parts and better heat dissipation than drum brakes. Additionally, disc brakes are typically less prone to performance issues due to rust, water, and dirt buildup since the pads and rotors are exposed.


How Often Should the Brakes Be Checked?

Your car’s brake system should be inspected at least once a year. If you’re overdue for a brake check, make an appointment today at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care for professional brake repair and maintenance.

Auto Care Tips & Advice

Filter By:

image or a brake rotor on a jack

4 Reasons to Think Twice Before Changing Your Brake Pads at Home

Jul 28, 2021

Thinking of changing your brake pads yourself at home? You may want to think again! Learn how replacing brake pads is more complicated than you might think.

Read More
Image of vehicle brakes

Why Is There a Hissing Noise When I Brake?

Jun 16, 2021

Inform yourself about what’s causing that hissing noise when braking your car, truck, or SUV, and what you can and should do to stop that hissing noise.

Read More
comparison of new and worn brake pads

4 Things That Can Happen When You Drive With Worn Brakes

Oct 19, 2020
Driving with worn brakes can be annoying. But there's more to it than the annoying squeal! Here are 4 things that can happen when you drive with worn brakes.

Read More
View More Articles

Find Store

Find a Different Location

Stores Near You

Do you want to change your Preferred Store?