How Long Does a Power Brake Booster Last?

When you press the brake pedal, your car slows down and eventually stops. Most of us put little more thought into it. We know that our brake pads need to be replaced periodically, and we’ll probably need to have our rotors resurfaced at some point, but we put little additional thought into how the system works. Your brakes are actually a very complex system that requires a number of different parts to work correctly.

Your car’s power brake booster does pretty much what the name implies. It sits at the back of the master cylinder and is responsible for boosting the power from the pedal. It actually makes it easier to stop your car by reducing the amount of pressure needed to work the brakes. If you’ve ever driving a car without a power braking system, you know just how hard it can be to slow down and stop.

Your power brake booster is in use any and every time you put your foot on the brake pedal. That means it sees a lot of use. Over time, it’s exposed to wear and tear, as well as threats from other sources – leaking brake fluid from a failing master cylinder, for instance. Brake fluid is caustic, and it will eventually break down the seals that allow the brake booster to work.

If your brake booster fails, you will still have normal stopping capabilities, but it will be much harder to work the brake pedal. Slowing down and stopping will require more time and longer distances. It’s definitely not a safe situation to be in, so it’s important that you know a few signs to watch for that indicate your brake power booster is beginning to fail. These include:

  • Brake pedal is very hard/stiff
  • Your car has less stopping power
  • Pressing the brake pedal creates a hissing noise
  • Brake pedal does not return from the depressed position

Note that a failing or failed power brake booster will not make your brake pedal soft or mushy. That actually indicates low brake fluid, a failed master cylinder or another problem with the braking system. If you suspect your power brake booster is on its last legs, a certified mechanic can diagnose and fix the power brake booster to help get you safely back on the road.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,699)

Rating Summary
20,382
845
179
87
206
20,382
845
179
87
206

Matthew

33 years of experience
991 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.

Greg

22 years of experience
37 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!

LAVELL

27 years of experience
93 reviews
LAVELL
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.

Brian

23 years of experience
483 reviews
Brian
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

What’s the Difference Between Drilled and Slotted Brakes?
Brake Brake rotors are a fundamental part of a vehicle’s braking system. They’re a simple system, but made up of many different parts. The driver applies the brakes by pressing on the brake pedal, which signals the rest of the...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Wheel Cylinder
If your car has drum brakes and a spongy brake pedal, poor brake response, and leaking brake fluid, you may need a brake wheel cylinder replacement.
How Long Do Brake Rotors Last?
Brake rotors, sometimes called discs, are an important component of the braking system on any vehicle. The brake rotors are the part of...

Related questions

Parking brake is locked up.

The car can still be towed. Often, the metal wires cables that control the mechanical parking brake may rust in their insulation and that causes the cable to bind and seize. These systems can fail in both the released position...

Brake, ABS, DSC, Check Engine Light - 2001 BMW 325

If you visited a smaller local repair shop or a garage chain, you may want to take the car to the dealer where they have the proper equipment to extract the fault coes from the system. These mechanics are specialized...

Do I need a brake fluid flush when I replace my brakes?

Brake fluid, like other fluids used in our vehicles, is subject to degradation over time. Brake fluid is a hydraulic and hygroscopic substance which means it absorbs moisture if left exposed to atmospheric humidity. Minute pieces of rubber can break...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com