Whats wrong with this picture? The rear brake shoe adjuster plug is missing.

Previously I had written about the importance of replacing that little plastic cap for your valve stem if found missing. Another important component to have in place is the little oval shaped rubber plug that goes in your backing plates for your rear brakes. What purpose do these plugs serve? If you have rear brake shoes on your car they may need to be adjusted manually from time to time because the brake shoe self adjusters do not always work as they should. You may have a service done that includes a brake adjustment,and that little oval rubber plug will need to be removed to gain access to the self adjuster with a tool.

The problem here is when the plug is not re installed after the adjustment is made dirt and moisture enters the brake drum it can cause large grooves to be worn into the brake shoes and drums. Also that self adjuster that we were just talking about seize up and will not move over time. As a result of this you might notice a low or spongy feeling brake pedal, poor parking brake performance, or a grinding type noise from your rear brakes. Make sure if you have your rear brakes serviced, adjusted or replaced make sure the adjuster plugs are re installed.

Adjuster plug installed

Green arrow points to installed brake adjuster plug.

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2 Responses to “Whats wrong with this picture? The rear brake shoe adjuster plug is missing.”

  1. Jason says:

    Perhaps a silly question, as I imagine the dealer carries these, but I just spent the weekend replacing my brake shoes and drums. Part of the process was to remove that plug for final adjustments. Since this was my first time doing it, it took me the better part of 2 days (the first day, I did something wrong… not sure what, but it caused my driver side drum to get so hot, that it went from being brand new and silver to a golden color, permanently…)

    I tore them all apart again today, and spent time ensuring I never missed a step in putting them back together. However, I was just so relieved to be done, that when I took it for a test drive, I forgot that I’d left the plugs sitting on the springs, and well… needless to say, they’re gone… somewhere lost to the streets of my neighborhood.

    I’ve searched the auto parts store websites and Amazon, but a search for “brake adjuster plug” turns up nothing. Is it called something else? These are just rubber plugs, but I fear the dealer will try charging me $20 for them. Any help is appreciated!

  2. Joe says:

    Hi Jason
    You usually get the new plugs with the brake shoe hardware kit. Or if you know a mechanic he just may have some kicking around in his tool box.
    Hope this helps you.

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