Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Power Brake Booster Last?

Power Brake Booster

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

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

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: Rear end clunking when braking in 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

If you hear a clunking noise coming from the back when you hit the brakes, the first thing you want to check is the wheels and brakes. You want to see if the brake pads are worn, if they are...

Q: Why do I have to replace my brakes every year or every other year?

This is definitely a very short distance for brake replacement and should be looked at by a mechanic. Your brakes should last at least 25,000 to 40,000 miles depending on the driving habits and conditions the car is subjected to....

Q: Stalling engine, brakes, power steering and transmission failure

The stalling may well be caused by a failure of the crankshaft position sensor. This device provides timing instructions for the ignition system. When it fails, the engine no longer gets spark at the spark plugs and stalls. When the...