If you’ve noticed that your brakes aren’t stopping your vehicle as easy as they used to, the problem might not be your brakes at all. It could be a faulty brake booster, a part of the braking system that safely guides your vehicle to a complete stop.
So, how do you know the difference? There are five telltale signs to be aware of, all of which signal that your car’s brake booster is failing. Here’s everything you need to know about them and how to recognize each one.
What is a Brake Booster?
The brake booster is a part of your vehicle’s braking system that is located between the brake pedal and the master cylinder. When you step on the brake pedal, a rod opens up a valve and air enters into the brake booster through a diaphragm.
This creates a vacuum that increases air pressure. That pressure pushes the rod further and amplifies the pressure you apply to your brakes, allowing your car to slow or stop with minimal effort on your part. When your car’s booster is failing, these are the red flags you’ll notice while driving.
The Brake Pedal is Harder to Press
One of the first and most obvious signs of a worn-out brake booster is that the brake pedal will become more difficult to push. Since this typically happens over time, rather than all at once, you should have your brake system checked out immediately if you notice any change in the amount of effort needed to come to a stop.
Longer Braking Distance Than Usual
Have you noticed that it takes a little longer for your car to come to a complete stop? You might have air bubbles in your car’s brake lines that entered through the master cylinder. Air bubbles reduce the pressure that gets applied to the brakes causing them to apply softer than usual. In turn, you will experience longer braking distances even when applying more pressure.
Brake Pedal Resting Higher Than Usual
Visually, you might not be able to detect if your brake pedal is in a higher position than normal, but you should be able to feel if it’s in a different position than it usually is. If you notice the pedal is in a different spot than you’re not used to, it could be very easy to misjudge where the pedal is and the amount of pressure you need to stop, which is where wrongful death lawyers come into play.
Stalling Engine When Applying Brakes
When the diaphragm inside your car’s brake booster malfunctions, too much air can enter your brakes from the engine. This causes your engine to stall when you press on the brake pedal. Left untreated, this leads to permanent damage to your vehicle’s transmission. If you notice any grinding, shaking, or clunking noises, get your vehicle to a mechanic immediately.
- Hissing Noise Coming from the Dash
If you notice any hissing sound coming from the interior of the car or under the dash, you might have a problem with your car’s brake booster system. This noise occurs when the vacuum isn’t working properly, and air starts to escape. Not only could you lose the ability to brake at all, but you could cause an accident and thousands of dollars in damage.
If you have noticed one or more of these symptoms while driving, take your vehicle to a certified automobile mechanic to have a complete check of your braking system. Catching the problem early could save you from further costly repairs to your engine and transmission, as well as keep you safe from an accident due to faulty brakes.