How to Replace a Power Brake Booster

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The brake booster provides power assistance during braking. Inside there is a disc-like diaphragm that separates the booster’s two halves. When the engine is running, vacuum is applied to both sides of the booster. When the driver steps on the brakes, the pedal operates a valve which allows outside air to enter. This allows atmospheric pressure to enter the booster, creating a pressure differential that forces the booster power forward into the master cylinder for power assist. When the brakes are released, vacuum returns to both sides of the booster and a spring returns the diaphragm to its original position.

If the power brake booster is not functioning properly, you will notice problems such as the brake pedal being very hard to press, and the vehicle taking longer than normal to come to a stop. It may be time to replace the power brake booster.

Materials Needed

  • Pliers
  • Protective gloves
  • Ratchet, sockets and extension
  • Repair manuals (optional)
  • Replacement brake booster
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver and/or small pick

Part 1 of 2: Remove the faulty brake booster

How to Replace a Power Brake Booster 2

Step 1: Locate the brake booster. The brake booster will be mounted to the firewall on the driver’s side.

How to Replace a Power Brake Booster 2

Step 2: Remove the master cylinder from the brake booster. Remove the master cylinder fasteners using a ratchet or wrench. Then pull the master cylinder away from the booster. Typically, the brake lines are long enough that this can be done without disconnecting the lines.

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Step 2: Disconnect the booster vacuum supply line. Remove the hose clamp by squeezing it with a pair of pliers and sliding it away from the booster. Then gently remove the hose by pulling it away from the booster.

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Step 4: Disconnect the booster pushrod from the brake pedal. Using a small screwdriver or pick, remove the retaining clip from the booster pushrod. Then remove the pushrod from the brake pedal.

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Step 5: Remove the brake booster fasteners. Remove the fasteners securing the booster to the bulkhead. These are typically located under the dashboard. The best way to reach them is by using a ratchet with an extension.

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Step 6: Remove the brake booster. Pull the booster away from the firewall and remove it from the vehicle.

Part 2 of 2: Install the new brake booster

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Step 1: Position the new brake booster unit. Place the new brake booster in the same location that the old one was removed from.

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Step 2: Reinstall the fasteners. Reinstall the brake booster fasteners and tighten them down using a ratchet and extension.

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Step 2: Reconnect the pushrod to the brake pedal. Reinstall the pushrod onto the brake pedal and put the clip back on.

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Step 4: Reconnect the booster vacuum hose. Slide the vacuum hose back onto the booster. Then reinstall the hose clamp by squeezing it with a pair of pliers and sliding it onto the booster.

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Step 5: Reinstall the master cylinder. Reinstall the master cylinder and tighten down the mounting bolts using a ratchet or wrench.

Replacing a brake booster can be tough. If this seems like something you’d rather leave to the professionals, YourMechanic offers expert brake booster replacement conveniently done at the time and place of your choice.


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Number of Reviews

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Rating Summary
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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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