Diagnosing a Bad Brake Master Cylinder
Your brake master cylinder is an integral part of your brake system. When one fails, some odd symptoms may arise, and it may be difficult to diagnose. Here’s some information to help you decide if yours has gone bad. At Camarillo Independent in Camarillo, CA we want you to know what to look out for so that you can be safely on the road.
No Brakes – The most obvious symptom of a bad master cylinder is brakes that don’t work at all. This is a pretty rare condition – the master cylinder is the hydraulic pump that pressurizes your brake lines with input from the pedal, and on anything made in the last half-century is partitioned internally. This means typically either your front or back brakes will go out, but not usually both at once.
Poor Braking – Since usually, only the brakes at the front or back will go out at a time, you will likely notice your car doesn’t stop as well as it should. If only half your brakes are working, the master cylinder is likely to blame.
Inconsistent Brakes – When a master cylinder begins to fail, sometimes the brakes will feel fine one second and lose braking power the next. If the fluid is leaking past the seals inside the cylinder, the pedal may feel firm for a moment but won’t hold steady; it’ll feel spongy and keep sinking towards the floor.
Leaks – If you notice brake fluid leaking from the back of the cylinder against the firewall or brake booster, or can see it leaking down the firewall on the inside of the car, it’s definitely time to have the master cylinder replaced. If it’s leaking, it’ll run out of fluid eventually, leaving you without at least half your brakes. Plus, it lets air enter the system, causing the brakes to feel spongy as well. Sometimes the pedal will regain firmness if you pump it a couple of times, but it typically won’t last for more than a few seconds.
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, have one of our technicians take a look. We’ll diagnose and repair your bad master cylinder, and have your vehicle stopping like it’s supposed to in no time. No matter your repair or maintenance needs, we’ve got you covered. For the best brake service in Camarillo, CA, call or stop by Camarillo Independent today.