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I know that the 2002 Chevy Cavalier has disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the back. What I don't know is whether the drum brakes are used at all during normal braking, or if they exist only for use with the emergency/parking brake.

Are the rear drum brakes in a Chevy Cavalier used in normal braking?

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this is interesting, because in my 2002 Cavalier, upon inspecting the drum brakes after 10+ years, the brake pad inside the drum looked smooth and shiny like it had never been touched by anything. I'm not sure how it's supposed to look, though. – Sahuagin Apr 15 '15 at 15:07
up vote 1 down vote accepted

All rear brakes are designed to be used. What does happen, though, is that the rear brakes are used less than the front. There is in the braking system a device called a portioning valve. This valve creates a bias in the braking, making most of the effort come from the front. Depending on how the manufacturer sets it up, the bias is usually around 60-70% to the front and 30-40% to the rear.

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