Hello! 2010 Corolla S with 112,000 miles.
I have an issue with my braking power and I believe it has to do with the adjusters on my read drums. I'm looking for confirmation on my thoughts or suggestions on what else to look for.
I noticed a couple years ago that my brakes started to get soft and it seemed like my braking power was reduced. I thought about bleeding the brakes, but procrastinated on doing it. During my procrastination period, I researched it more and decided I would try to adjust the rear brakes. Took off the wheels, freed the drums, and started to adjust. I was immediately struck by the number of times I had to turn the adjustment gear to get the brake shoes to drag on the drums. Once I was happy with the adjustment, I put it all back together. Success! Better braking and less brake pedal travel. As an added bonus, I didn't have to pull the hand brake through the sunroof to engage!
Three months later, same pedal travel and soft brakes. Climbed under, readjusted, and once again I was good to go! And here we are again with the same issue months later. It never seems to get worse past a certain point, but it is pretty annoying to have to keep doing this when the brakes are supposedly self adjusting. I've tried all the suggestions out there by driving backwards and slamming the brakes, pulling the hand brake repeatedly, all kind of weird stuff. The adjustment wheel moves freely, but no matter what I do, they don't seem to stay adjusted or tight for very long.
Am I wrong in thinking something's up with the adjusters. I will say in December 2013 I was in an accident where the front end was pretty banged up. The shop put it all back together, but it seems like the brakes started to get funky after that. I'm wondering if the accident introduced air in the lines and the repair shop didn't bleed them properly. But if that was the case, would get get a firmer pedal and better braking after an adjustment? You would think if it was air in the brake lines that it would stay mushy even after an adjustment - which isn't the case.