How To Know If Your Brake Master Cylinder is Failing

Can you recognize the signs that your brake master cylinder is failing or broken? Are you noticing braking problems with your vehicle? If so, don't ignore them. There are numerous problems that braking systems can suffer from. Our post entitled "My Brake Warning Light Is On - Brake Noise" will help you to determine what some common braking issues can be.  Faulty brakes can lead to a loss of control of your vehicle, so if you are having problems with your braking system, contact us at Hansma Automotive immediately.

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The Brake Master Cylinder - Definition

The Brake Master Cylinder is a vital component of a modern car. When you put pressure on your brake pedal, the hydraulic braking system begins to operate by pushing brake fluid through the system. By responding to pressure on the brake pedal, fluid from the reservoir enters the lines in the  hydraulic braking system, applying  pressure to the brakes. This pressure is what slows your vehicle and causes it to stop. 

Brake Master Cylinder Failure

Over time, like any component in a vehicle, your brake master cylinder may wear out and need replacement. Although they are intended to last as long as the vehicle itself, various factors come into play that may reduce the life of the cylinder and its parts. For example, city driving is harder on a brake master cylinder than highway driving as the brakes tend to be applied more often. Failure to check fluid levels in the reservoir may also lead to problems if there is insufficient fluid in the system. Some of the rubber seals may become dried and brittle, allowing fluid to leak out and drain the system. Preventative measures such as regular car maintenance can help prevent or postpone some of these types of problems. 

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How To Know If Your Master Cylinder is Faulty

There are some simple clues that can point you towards having your brake master cylinder checked. They include:

  • A soft, mushy brake pedal
  • A check engine light
  • Dark or dirty brake fluid

Let's examine these more in detail.

A Soft Mushy Brake Pedal

As a brake master cylinder and its various parts begin to deteriorate, you will notice a change in your braking system. It may require more effort to press the brake pedal; the brake pedal may feel "mushy" or "spongy," or even sink to the floor entirely. These are signs that there is a fault at some point in the braking system. 

Check Engine Light

Check engine lights may indicate there are problems other than with the engine itself. This is especially true of newer model vehicles.

Dirty Brake Fluid

Dirty brake fluid is caused when seals begin to break down into small parts. In this case, the brake fluid will appear dirtier or darker. Regular maintenance by a qualified technician will quickly discover if the fluid is darker than it should be. 

Watch the following video about the brake master cylinder for more information on how you can catch and cope with master cylinder issues.

Why Choose Hansma Automotive?

We believe that we provide auto service that is second to none. Read our blog entitled, "Auto Service Kitchener - Top 5 Reasons to Choose Hansma Automotive" for insight as to why we believe we are the best choice. Get in touch with us immediately if you suspect that you have any braking problems with your vehicle. Most repairs can be done in a few hours or less. The braking system is the single most important safety feature employed by your vehicle - don't take chances with it.

Brake Master Cylinder Schematic

Posted on October 3, 2016 .