Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles have gone through four generations since this model was introduced in 1993. The ZJ, WK, WK and WK2 models have front disc brakes, but most Grand Cherokee models released before 2007 have rear drum brakes. The braking systems in your vehicle will determine whether you need to learn how to replace brake pads or shoes.
All-Disc or Rear Drum Brakes
A late-model Jeep Grand Cherokee is likely to have all-disc brakes. In this brake system, the master cylinder pressurizes and propels hydraulic fluid to the pistons in each caliper. The calipers engage the brake pads and, which create friction against the rotor to slow and stop the wheels. Systems with rear drum brakes require different Jeep Grand Cherokee auto parts.
In drum brakes, pressurized fluid from the master cylinder engages hydraulic wheel cylinders to bring curved brake shoes into contact with the inner surface of rotating brake drums. Rear drum brakes generally last longer than rear disc brakes on four-wheel drive vehicles.
Signs Your Brake Pads Are Worn Out
Brake pads for disc brakes can last anywhere from 25,000 miles up to 65,000 miles before requiring replacement. If pads are worn down to less than one-quarter of an inch, you should replace these components. Other indications of worn pads include squeaking or squealing noises, brake pedal vibration or the sound of grinding metal.
Worn brake shoes on rear drum brakes make scraping or squeaking noises and are less responsive. The parking brake may also become loose. Brake shoes can last up to 35,000 miles. Check the type of rear brakes on a Jeep Grand Cherokee to get the right replacement parts. Replace other performance-oriented vehicle components such as Jeep Grand Cherokee oil filters and air filters more frequently.
How to Install Brake Pads
A Jeep Grand Cherokee may require a set of front brake pads, front and rear brake pads and anywhere from two to four replacement rotors depending on whether a model has two or four disc brakes. Replace brake pads by loosening lug nuts and lifting the vehicle with a jack before inserting a jack stand. Remove the caliper assembly and secure it to protect the brake line. Remove worn pads from the rotor and resurface or replace this component before reinstalling brakes.
Grand Cherokee models that have rear drum brakes requires two sets of brake shoes and drums. Remove the dust cap from the brake drum and unscrew the axle bearing nut. Twist the drum while pulling backward to remove this component. Take off brake shoe springs and clips before removing the parking brake cable. Pull the set of worn shoes away from the backing plate and install replacement brake shoes. It may also be necessary to replace brake drums.
It is important to maintain the brakes in a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Rear disc brakes may wear out more quickly than front disc brakes. Replace brakes in front or rear pairs or replace all brakes at the same time. Regular maintenance prolongs the lifespan of rotors and other brake system components.
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