Finding out that you need a new brake booster is not easy news to hear. You've probably been driving around with stiff, unresponsive brakes for some time. Either the pedal is too high, or won't depress enough. That is a big sign that you are losing the vacuum assist that the booster provides to your brakes. If left unattended, your car will take longer and longer to come to a complete stop. Not only is that a major inconvenience, but a broken brake booster will also prohibit you from braking or maneuvering in an emergency. This is a major safety concern; one that should not be taken lightly. If you are lucky, you may just need to replace the check valve or a solenoid. But if the canister is leaking, then you'll likely need to replace the brake booster entirely. This isn't a death sentence for your car, as replacing under the hood brake components can be done fairly easily. The most important thing to consider is making sure you keep you and your passengers safe by replacing broken parts as soon as possible.
How a brake booster works.
Your car's brake booster is a vacuum servo that uses the pressure from your intake to compound the force applied to the master cylinder from your brake pedal. When the pedal is depressed, a valve opens the vacuum and dumps air into the canister. This creates a load that your master cylinder converts to strong hydraulic pressure on your brakes. Obviously, the brake booster requires your engine to be running and the vacuum hoses to be in good working order to be effective. That is why your brakes feel so stiff when the car is off - there's no help from the booster because there's no vacuum from the intake.
It's a difficult job, but someone's got to do it.
In order to replace a broken brake booster, you should first know how to change brake hoses and bleed brakes. This is because you are going to disconnect the hoses from the master cylinder in order to access the booster, and that will require you to drain and replace the fluid. If you can't do this, it would be best to take your car to a mechanic. Otherwise, just follow these steps.
First, look under your dash where the brake pedal connects to the booster rod. It will be poking through the firewall, and attached with a cotter pin or a nut/bolt. Disconnect the two parts.
Now you can remove the brake booster from the firewall, but first you will need to separate it from the master cylinder. Most of the time, this is easiest if you drain the fluid and disconnect the brake lines first.
Remove the master cylinder and now unbolt the booster from the firewall. Then, re-install all the components you removed in reverse order.
At this time, you will need to refill the brake master cylinder reservoir with new fluid and bleed the system at each caliper. You now have a new brake booster.
Get your brakes fixed with parts from CPD!
Brake boosters perform a valuable service, but they do not have to be expensive. At Car Parts Discount, we offer new and rebuilt brake parts for all sorts of vehicles from top brands and quality manufacturers at the lowest prices possible. That means that when you order from us, you can count on receiving your part in a timely manner without breaking the bank. If you are having problems with your brake booster, don't put of replacing it any longer.