When you apply your brakes, you’ll feel a pressure – and that feeling is the brake booster doing its job. If you’re not feeling that extra little bit of pressure when you apply your brakes, it’s a good bet that your brake booster is not operating at peak efficiency and needs to be repaired or replaced.
The job of the brake booster starts as soon as you begin to put pressure on the pedal. There are two chambers inside the brake booster that are divided by a diaphragm. Stepping on the gas pedal clears the air from the chambers, vacuum-sucking everything out depending on how hard you’re stepping on the brakes. The harder your foot depresses the brake pedal, the more air is forced out of the chamber.
There are two main types of brake boosters: vacuum and hydraulic. Here are a few pointers for choosing the right brake booster for your vehicle:
Hydraulic: Hydraulic brake boosters are generally found in diesel-powered engines and consist of a steering pump that is filled with a hydraulic liquid which is stored in an accumulator. Air pressure is released when you step on the brake pedal, resulting in an excellent level of braking force of up to 2,000 psi. The downside is that this type of booster can decrease horsepower because it uses a fair amount of electric energy to function.
Vacuum: Vacuum brake boosters work on air pressure; stepping on the brake pedal forces air out of the diaphragm. The benefit of utilizing a vacuum is that if your vehicle’s engine stalls, the brakes will still work even though you will have to push harder. Check to make sure the units are vacuum-tested to ensure that their performance will be reliable.
Check to see which type of power brake booster your vehicle uses before you attempt to replace it. Keeping your power brake booster in good working order is an important part of your vehicle maintenance.
YourMechanic supplies top-quality power brake boosters to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install a power brake booster that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on power brake booster replacement.