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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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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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