The brake master cylinder comes as one of the most vital components found in modern car braking systems. It functions as the main valve that pushes brake fluid through the brake lines so the brake calipers can squeeze the pads against the rotors. It works by pushing a metal rod through a cylinder to force fluid through the braking system to the wheels. One end of this rod is linked to the pedal and is actuated when the pedal is depressed. Often, a faulty brake master cylinder will give out one of these 4 symptoms that alert the driver of needed servicing.
1. Abnormal brake pedal behavior
One of the first signs commonly linked with a bad or failing brake master cylinder is abnormal brake pedal behavior. The master cylinder is the part that generates all of the pressure for the braking system, and if it begins any sort of problems sealing or distributing pressure, this may be felt in the pedal. With constant use over time, the seals inside of the cylinder will wear out and form internal leaks. A bad brake master cylinder may lead to a pedal that feels mushy, spongy, or slowly sinks to the floor anytime depressed.
2. A Contaminated brake fluid
Another sign of a bad brake master cylinder is contaminated brake. Brake master cylinders use rubber seals that could break down and wear out over time. When they do, they could contaminate the brake fluid and it will turn it to dark brown or black color. Apart from contaminating the fluid, a brake master cylinder with worn seals will not be able to keep brake pressure as effectively and may result in a mushy pedal or one that slowly sinks to the floor.
3. A Leaking brake fluid
Brake fluid could leak from the master cylinder or unsecured reservoirs on the cylinder holding the fluid lower critical brake fluid levels. The brake master cylinder requires adequate levels of fluid to exert the right quantity of hydraulic pressure to slow down the vehicle. You’ll need to have the brake master cylinder changed in this situation. If left unresolved, your ability to slow down the vehicle will be impaired.
4. Check Engine Light comes on
Another symptom commonly observed for newer vehicles is an illuminated Check Engine Light. The braking systems on newer cars may have brake fluid level and pressure sensors mounted in the master cylinder. These sensors are meant to detect any issue with the car’s brake fluid pressure, which is generated by the master cylinder. If they detect that the pressure has dropped, it is possibly because of a problem with the master cylinder. Such issues may equally ignite a Brake Warning Light too.
The brake master cylinder is basically the heart of the braking system and vital to reliable brake operation. It is a vital component of the handling and safety characteristics of the vehicle. A car with a bad brake master cylinder will have inoperable or compromised brakes, and thus will be unsafe to drive. For this reason, if you feel that your brake master cylinder is having an issue, have the brake system checked by a professional technician to know if it the car requires a brake master cylinder change.