Power Brake Boosters: How They Work and Common Brake Repair Issues They Might Require

August 16, 2021 9:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As their name suggests, power brake boosters give your brakes extra power. These interesting devices make it easy to brake without the driver having to slam their foot on the pedal. While your foot normally applies around 70 lbs of pressure in a normal braking system, power brake boosters increase this force by around 200 to 300 lbs.

Located between the brake pedal and the master cylinder, power brake boosters utilize a vacuum system to enhance the power of a vehicle’s brakes. There are some power brake boosters that use fluid pressure from a vehicle’s power steering pump to increase braking power as well. Read on to learn more about these interesting devices and the issues they can sometimes face.

The different types of power brake boosters

As mentioned above, most power brake boosters utilize a vacuum system to enhance braking power. However, there are several other types of power brake boosters. A vacuum pump power brake booster, for example, doesn’t use the engine intake manifold, as with traditional vacuum boosters. These types of boosters usually appear in certain specialty vehicles, like cars with turbo-charged engines, vehicles with diesel engines as well as electric and hybrid vehicles.

As mentioned above, there are also power brake boosters that utilize fluid pressure. These boosters are often called hydro-boost or electric hydro-boost brakes.

Common power brake booster problems

There are several signs that might signal a bad power brake booster in need of brake repair. For one, you might notice that the brake pedal is harder than usual to press. A power brake booster should make it much easier to brake, so if your pedal is feeling stiff, it’s important to visit a mechanic right away. Another common sign of a power brake booster problem is that you have to start braking sooner than usual to stop at the right time.

Your car might start making a hissing noise when you brake if there’s a problem with the power brake booster. If you notice a hissing sound, there could be a leak in your vehicle’s vacuum hose. Other common signs of a power brake booster problem include warning lights, fluid leaks and power steering issues.

Since most power brake boosters utilize a vacuum system, issues are usually caused by problems with the vacuum hose. This could include vacuum hose clogs or leaks. Vacuum hose issues are often hard to diagnose on your own, especially if you don’t have much experience. That’s why it’s usually best to contact a professional for brake repair if you notice any of the signs mentioned above.

When to visit a mechanic

You should visit a mechanic at the first sign of a power brake booster issue. It’s important to take care of any problems with your brakes right away, as this is a safety hazard. Putting off getting your power brake booster repaired will only cause bigger issues over time. Drivers in need of brake repair services at fair prices should contact the experts at Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing to schedule an appointment today!

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