There's probably a part of your car's braking system that is often overlooked, yet it is very important: the power brake booster. Many people don't even know about this part until they begin to have problems with the brake pedal. Even then, most people won't suspect the booster over other potential problems because boosters rarely go bad.
How the brake booster works:
The brake booster uses vacuum to amplify the foot pressure on the brake pedal to stop the car more quickly and easily than if it didn't have one. Though it's actually not needed to stop a car, it can increase brake effectiveness especially with larger and heavier cars. Some small and light vehicles might not have a booster because there is no room for one in the engine compartment and the car can stop efficiently without one. Many older muscle cars, especially those with all drum brakes, also don't usually have brake boosters, though many people have upgraded their vehicles to have one.
Symptoms of a booster problem:
The primary complaint that most people make when the booster is having problems is that the brake pedal either feels very hard or more effort is needed to stop the car. When the booster starts to fail, the amount of pedal pressure needed can vary on a single trip. It may start out normal and become more difficult to press the pedal as you continue to drive. The pedal may also feel strange and spongy. However, these symptoms could also be an indicator of other brake problems such as worn or missing brake pads or shoes or air in the system, so it's important to have your vehicle checked before assuming it's the booster.
Causes of booster failure:
Because it runs on your engine's vacuous system, the first thing that should be checked is that system's hoses, especially those leading to and from the booster. Make sure they are not cracking or splitting and that they don't smell like gas fumes because these fumes can damage the diaphragm inside the booster. Another cause of booster problems is that your master cylinder is failing and is leaking into the booster. If this is the case, you should not drive the car until it gets fixed. If your master cylinder completely fails, your brakes will totally stop working.
Power brake boosters are often overlooked when it comes to diagnosing brake problems. Even though your brakes will still work if the booster fails, it could be very difficult to stop the car. It's best to get it checked out and fixed as soon as possible. Do not ignore any brake problem with your vehicle no matter how insignificant it may appear.Share
19 April 2016
After trying in vain to fix my car for a few months, I realized that I needed to hire a professional. I was tired of dealing with repairs that I was unfamiliar with, and I knew that I needed to get some help. I started looking around for a great auto mechanic, and even though one business was more expensive than others, I decided to work with them. They worked hard to fix my car, and I was really pleased with how great of a job they did. This blog is all about investing in proper auto service so that you don't have to deal with problems in the future.