Brake boosters or power brakes use a vacuum to produce the additional force required for efficient braking. The internal combustion engine in cars provides the vacuum with what it needs for the brake boosters to operate.
Most internal combustion engines come with an engine control system that senses conditions where there is low workload and the engine will not function on all eight cylinders. This system deactivates some of the cylinders for fuel conservation in the Displacement on Demand or DOD mode. Conversely, an engine in the DOD mode might not offer sufficient vacuum to the brake booster.
The brake booster vacuum sensor is a single chip component that manufacturers fit onto the electrical control unit of the brake booster. It monitors the vacuum in the brake booster and make sure that there is a sufficient vacuum. If the vacuum levels fall below optimum levels, the brake booster vacuum sensor directs a signal to the engine and deactivates the DOD mode. When activated, the engine can once again generate sufficient vacuum for the brake boosters to operate.
The brake booster vacuum sensor might also direct a signal to the brake booster vacuum pump and activate it to raise the levels of vacuum. In case there is a leak in the vacuum air line or pipe, the sensor detects this as well.
Facts to Note:
If the brake booster vacuum sensor is not working correctly, it will not enable the engine to transition from the DOD to the activated mode. The engine could vary between the two modes. Thus, there are low levels of vacuum.
The supplemental brake help system in your car works to correct the vacuum issue. If it failed, you will see the Service Brake Booster message on the dashboard.
It is advisable to keep your power brakes or brake booster working in perfect condition for effective braking when driving on the road. If you see the Reduced Brake Power and Service Brake Booster indicators on your dashboard, you should book an appointment with one of your expert mechanics right away. These indicators are a signal that the brake booster vacuum sensor is not working and is unable to correct the vacuum issue in the brake booster. Have the entire brake booster system checked if you need to use excessive force when braking.
Common symptoms indicating you may need to change the Brake Booster Vacuum Sensor:
Reduced Brake Power message comes on the dashboard
Service Brake Booster message light comes on
Importance of this service:
Not having an efficient and properly working braking system can be a safety hazard when driving. Have the issue examined and rectified as soon as you can.