Brake hardware generally refers to the supporting hardware for disc and drum brakes. Hardware related to disc brakes usually includes anti-rattle springs, pad-retaining springs, silencing shims, calliper pins, support keys, return springs, and retaining screws. Typical drum brake hardware includes return springs, hold-down springs, tension springs and star wheel adjuster. It's important to note that the exact hardware configuration and names of the hardware vary considerably with different makes and models of cars.
Brake hardware is used to retain brake parts in certain locations and can also be used to return parts to certain positions when hydraulic pressure is released. Certain types of brake hardware are also used to silence disc brakes.
Symptoms of brake hardware problems may include dragging brakes, squealing while braking, grinding brakes, a low brake pedal or pulling when braking. If your car exhibits any of these symptoms, have it checked out by a qualified technician as soon as possible. When your car is due for brake service, ask if the brake hardware will be replaced. Having the hardware replaced during brake service is the best investment you can make to ensure safe braking and longest life from your new brakes.