Bad Brake Booster: Symptoms, Causes & Fixes

Bad Brake Booster

One area of your vehicle you should not play with is the braking system. If it requires you to invest in extra accessories, you should not hesitate. This way, your brake will perform at an optimal level.

One of the best and most effective vehicle accessories you can invest in is the brake booster. It’s employed to enhance the power and performance of your vehicle and braking system. Have you ever driven and noticed a difficulty in pressing the brake pedal? 

If yes, it’s time to take a break and carry out an inspection and diagnosis of the braking system. The brake booster may not work as normally; or, at least, it is possible that the part of the vehicle braking system is gradually getting worse. Be wary, but you shouldn’t panic.

What Is A Brake Booster?

The work of the brake booster is to provide support to the braking system. A brake booster is also known as a vacuum booster. It exerts a force on the entire braking system to enhance its function. With your brake booster, you don’t have to apply much force on brakes for it to work.

Brake boosters are located in between the brake pedal and the master cylinder. For it to function, makes use of a vacuum that helps overpower the fluid pressure in the braking system.

Why You Need a Brake Booster

Imagine modern cars have no brake booster, drivers would muscle pull as a result of the force they put on the brake pedal while trying to stop the car. It would be a terrible experience for anyone in front of the wheel.

We should be thankful to the manufacturers of cars with brake booster because if they haven’t produced brake booster, the majority wouldn’t want to own a car for fear of the stress involved in driving it. 

The brake booster is beneficial to every driver. They help take the pressure off your legs. Not only that, but they also help activate the brake easily and make sure they are working effectively, thereby ensuring safety.

Symptoms of Failing Brake Booster

Like the other parts of a car, a brake booster also wears down over time due to constant use. And if this happens, your safety is no longer guaranteed, because you will have a hard time stopping your car. 

When your car’s brake booster starts to fail, some signs will enable you to tell. Here are some of the signs that your car brake booster is not in good condition: 

  • Difficulty in Pressing the Brake Lever

One of the topmost and foremost signs of a failing brake booster is a hard brake pedal. If your brake pedal becomes very hard and difficult to press, it is because the capacity of the brake booster vacuum is reduced. And can limit the braking ability.

  • Higher-than-Normal Brake Pedal

Once your brake booster starts to fail, you’ll notice that the brake lever has become higher than usual. This is one of the major signs of a bad brake booster. By this, we mean that the brake pedal will no longer stay in the original, normal position. Once this occurs, then the vacuum is responsible. It has pushed the brake pedal out of normal position.

  • Stalled car Engine 

When your car engine stalls, one of the first suspects is the brake booster. There is a higher likelihood that the component is failing. If a bad brake booster causes your engine to stall, it is a result of a leaky vacuum. When a vacuum begins to leak, it loses its ability, affecting the entire braking system.

  • Longer Braking Distance

Another clue to a bad brake booster is that it takes a longer time and distance before your car comes to a standstill. Once you notice this, it is often due to the presence of the air bubble in the vacuum which enters via the master cylinder.

Causes of Bad Brake Booster

The vehicle system is a network of components and the failure of one part may affect the proper functioning of other parts. This way, there are various reasons why you may experience a failing brake booster. 

Some of the causes of a bad brake booster include:

  • Leaking Booster Diaphragm

Your brake booster may fail if the brake booster intern diaphragm hardens or starts to leak. This can also happen if there’s leakage in the hose that allows the passage of air into the system.

  • Inefficient Vacuum Pressure 

This is one of the major causes of a bad brake booster. This occurs as a result of a broken hose, which permits the entry of air into the braking system. If this happens, the car engine becomes abnormally slow.

  • Bad external ports and valves

There are plugged ports found around the vacuum booster, through which air passes. If the air filter gets blocked, causes the brake booster to lose its function. The same goes for the valve. If it wears out, it tends to open and close on its own. And you can easily detect this through its warning sound. You can also check if the brake master cylinder is bad.

How To Fix

There are two important steps to take to fix your brake booster. One, you can do Do-It-Yourself testing at home, since most modern cars make use of a vacuum system.

To carry out the brake booster test, take the following steps:

  • Switch off the engine and pump the brakes a couple of times. pumping will reduce the store vacuum
  • Switch on the car engine as you simultaneously push down the brake lever. 

At this point, if your car has a good brake booster, you’ll notice a little drop in the pedal. However, a bad brake booster will cause the pedal to remain in position or it’ll push back against your foot

The next step is to get your car ready for inspection. If you follow the instructions in the repair kit, you may fix the problem yourself. However, the best bet is to hand it to a certified mechanic. They’ll either repair or replace the brake booster. This way, you can save a lot of bucks.

Final Thoughts

From this article, you should give more attention to your car brake booster. Maintaining the braking system and other parts of the car will save you from spending much on repairs. A brake booster is one of the features of cars that make driving effortless and safer.

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