The real purpose of a brake booster is to offer power assistance to the braking system, implying you do not have to put a lot of force on the brakes for them to engage. The brake booster is found between the brake pedal and master cylinder and makes use of a vacuum to overcome the fluid pressure in the brake system. If your brakes are not functioning properly, the car should not be driven. The brake booster is a vital part of the braking system, so keep an eye out for the following 3 signs so you can have them fixed right away:
1. Hard brake pedal
The primary sign of a bad brake booster is an extremely hard-to-push brake pedal. This issue may happen gradually or appear all at once. In addition, the brake pedal will not get back to its original position after being pressed. As soon as you observe your brake pedal is hard to engage, contact a professional mechanic to have your brake booster changed. It is critical that brake booster faults are fixed quickly — the vehicle is not safe to drive with a failed brake booster.
2. Longer stopping distance
Along with a hard brake pedal, you may observe it takes the vehicle longer to actually halt. This is because you are not getting the actual power boost required to properly stop the car. A longer stopping distance can be hazardous in all types of weather since it can make your vehicle unpredictable. This issue should be looked at by a mechanic as soon as you observe it.
3. Engine that stalls when brakes are applied
When the brake booster is failing it can draw excess vacuum from the engine. This happens when the diaphragm inside the brake booster fails and permits air to bypass the seal. The brakes are then pressed, the engine feels like it will stall, and the idle can drop. In addition to the decreased brake performance, a stalling engine can create serious issues.
Test the Booster
Since most cars use a vacuum system, the brake booster can be tested at your home. Take note of the following 3 steps:
- With the engine off, pump the brakes — about five or six times is okay. This action depletes the stored vacuum.
- Turn the engine on while pushing down lightly on the brake pedal. If your brake booster is working great, the pedal will fall away a little, but then get firm.
- If your brake booster is not functioning correctly, nothing will occur, or the brake pedal will push back against your foot once the engine starts. This could be a symptom of a brake booster problem or an issue with the vacuum hose.
If you observe the brake pedal is hard to push, higher than normal, and your car takes longer to stop, have a mechanic check it to be safe on the road. If required, the mechanic will change your brake booster in a timely manner so you can safely drive your car again.