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

Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...


Related questions

Q: Brake sensor is to sensitive causing brakes to flicker while driving. 2005 Mercury Montego

Hi there - your brake light switch needs a minor adjustment. It is adjusted too "tight" or close to the brake pedal lever, or possibly has failed. Adjusting/replacing it will eliminate this flickering problem. I recommend a brake light isn't...

Q: 2008 mercury mallies makes a hise noise (on the right side of the engine compartment ) when the brake peddle is pressed

Hello, and thank you for writing in. Consider the noise and determine if it sound like a fluid or air sound, or if it is more mechanical as in a metal on metal noise. The vehicle does have brake lines...

Q: Is there a special way to bleed breaks

You likely have a cross proportioned valve system from the master cylinder. The two lines coming from the master cylinder should go the ABS system and be LF/RR and RF/LF. To determine if you have a bad master cylinder, you...