How to Spot a Bad Brake Master Cylinder

July 4, 2018 6:59 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The brake master cylinder is one of the most important parts of your braking system. It acts as the valve that pushes brake fluid through your vehicle’s brake lines, allowing the calipers to squeeze the brake pads against the rotors.

A faulty brake master cylinder is one of the telltale signs that your vehicle needs service. But how do you know if your master brake cylinder has gone bad?

Here’s some information to keep in mind from a trusted provider of brake service in Gary, IN.

Unusual behavior with your brake pedal

Perhaps the most common symptom associated with a brake master cylinder gone bad is strange behavior or sensations with the brake pedals.

The master cylinder is the part of your brake system that creates all the pressure needed for the braking system to work properly. If any problems develop in that part, especially problems that prevent it from sealing or distributing pressure, you might feel this manifest itself in the pedal while driving. The pedal might feel spongy while using it, or it might sink more slowly to the floor. This is an issue that can arise with constant use of the brakes, as it can cause the seals inside the cylinder to wear out and form leaks inside.

Brake fluid contaminations

Another of the most common symptoms of problems with a brake master cylinder is contaminations appearing in your brake fluid. Brake master cylinders rely heavily on rubber seals, which can break down and wear out over long periods of use. As those seals break down, their components can contaminate the brake fluid. These worn seals won’t just result in contaminations of the fluid—they’ll also fail to hold the brake pressure as effectively, and this could result in the pedal being slow to sink to the floor during use.

You’ll know if the brake fluid is contaminated if it is suddenly a dark brown or black color. If you notice this, seek out service from a qualified brake technician as soon as possible to make the corrections.

Check engine light activation

A third common symptom associated with brake master cylinder failure is an activated check engine light. On newer cars, the braking systems are likely to have pressure sensors and brake fluid level detectors installed inside the master cylinder. These features are specifically designed to uncover problems with the brake fluid pressure, which is caused by the master cylinder. If they show drops in pressure, the problem likely falls with the master cylinder.

It’s extremely important as a vehicle owner to keep your brakes in serviceable condition at all times. The brake master cylinder is perhaps the most important component of your braking system and is absolutely essential for reliable, safe operation of your brakes. If you notice any of these issues or experience any other problems with your brakes, you should make it a point to contact a trusted professional at a brake shop in Gary, IN as soon as possible. Reach out to Miller Brakes and Mufflers, Inc. for more information.

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