Browsing all articles tagged with brake booster troubleshooting

Brake Booster Troubleshooting

brake booster troubleshootingOf all the components on a vehicle, the brakes are certainly one of the most important  to keep in flawless condition. Many times, however, problems with a vehicle’s brakes can be traced back to the performance of the brake booster, a mechanism that uses vacuum from the engine’s intake to increase the force applied to the brakes. If you’ve ever noticed how difficult or ineffective pushing the brake is when the engine is turned off, you’ve seen the results of braking without the aid of a brake booster. Sometimes, however, you may notice the same problems even when the vehicle is in operation. In this scenario it is important to identify the issue and have it solved as quickly as possible.

Troubleshooting Brake Boosters 

One of the first steps in troubleshooting your brakes is to verify that there is indeed a problem with the brake booster and not some other component. If you notice that your brakes are suddenly rigid and difficult to push, it is very likely that you are experiencing faults with your brake booster. Still, other issues can be responsible for this problem as well. To verify that your brake booster is indeed defective, turn your car off and slowly push down on the brakes, continuing to push down on them as you turn the engine back on. A vehicle with a working brake booster will pull the pedal down a little on its own once the engine is turned on.

If the pedal remains stationary, it’s time to check if the vacuum system is working properly. Cracks and breaks in the hoses can lead to a loss of pressure and an ineffective brake booster. First, check the hose for any noticeable cracks, cuts or breaks and make sure that it is securely connected to both the engine and the brake booster. If there are no defects large enough to spot and the hose is firmly secured, remove the end that connects to the brake booster and start the engine, feeling the open end of the hose for adequate vacuum.

If no vacuum is felt, the issue lies in a constrained vacuum port. Cleaning this out and clearing it of any obstructions should solve the issue.

If there is vacuum on the hose and no cracks or breaks were identified, the problem is most likely within the brake booster itself. Attach the hose back to the brake booster and listen for leaking air. Any leaks at this point would most likely be due to a cracked booster. With the engine running, have someone else apply the brakes while you continue to listen for leaks in the vacuum. If the brake is still difficult to press, and you are certain that there are no leaks coming from the hose, the brake booster itself is defective and needs to be replaced. It would be wise, however, to have a shop verify that this is the case. There is a chance that there could be cracks in the hose that you might have missed, turning a relatively cheap fix into an expensive mistake if you purchase a new brake booster.