The power brake system helps provide you with braking power, so not all the work is done solely with your brake pedal. When you step on the brake pedal, you create pressure in the power booster, which is multiplied by a vacuum pull from the engine. The resulting pressure pushes brake fluid through the master cylinder into tubes and hoses to the brake at each wheel as hydraulic pressure.
Problems can exist from a brake fluid leak somewhere in the line. The leak could be at a fitting, a hose, or even an internal leak in the master cylinder. A leak gives the pressurized fluid somewhere to go other than to the brakes, so stopping power is impaired. Lose enough fluid and you may dangerously lack any ability to stop.
If you notice any decrease in stopping power or your pedal seems mushy, you could have a problem. There are preventive measures to help the power brake system last longer.
Make sure your brake fluid is filled to the recommended level. Low fluid in the master cylinder could indicate a leak or worn parts. Master cylinder leaks generally occur from ware, but leaks in the brake lines and connectors can be minimized by replacing the brake fluid on-schedule. Brake fluid has additives that protect against corrosion, which corrosion can damage brake components.
Brake fluid attracts moisture, which can lead to rust. Significant amounts of water in the brake fluid can affect stopping power, because water has a lower boiling point than brake fluid. In the brake system’s high-temperature environment the water can vaporize, which steam does not provide good hydraulic pressure. Check your owner’s manual or ask us when your time is to change your brake fluid.