Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Brake Booster Vacuum Pump

A brake booster vacuum pump is a component found on the braking system of many modern diesel vehicles equipped with diesel engines. Due to their operational nature, diesel engines generate considerably less manifold vacuum than gasoline engines, and as a result, require a separate pump to produce the vacuum required for the booster to operate. It is responsible for generating vacuum for the vehicle’s brake booster so that the power assisted braking will work.

As the vacuum pump is what allows the vehicle to have power assisted braking, it is a very important component to the overall safety and handling characteristics of the vehicle. When the pump does fail or begins to have problems, usually a few symptoms will be produced that can alert the driver that a potential problem has occurred and should be serviced.

Stiff brake pedal

One of the first symptoms of a potential problem with the brake booster vacuum pump is a stiff brake pedal. The brake booster vacuum pump supplies the vacuum required for the power brake booster to work. If it fails or has a problem, the vehicle will be left without assisted braking. Without the brake booster, the brake pedal will be stiff and will require considerably more effort to stop the vehicle.

Intermittent power brakes

Another less common symptom of a problem with the booster vacuum pump are power brakes that function intermittently. As most brake booster vacuum pumps are electric, if there is any problem with any of the wiring or internal components, this may cause the pump to come on and off intermittently. Most pumps are designed to run continuously to provide a constant supply of vacuum so that the power brakes will work at all times. If you find that the brakes are assisted some times and not others, then the pump may not be functioning correctly.

The brake booster vacuum pump is an important piece of the power brake system, as the power brakes cannot function without the vacuum it supplies. For this reason, if you suspect that your brake booster vacuum pump may be failing, have the vehicle’s brake system diagnosed by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to determine if the car needs a brake booster vacuum pump replacement, or make any other repairs if needed.


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Johnny

33 years of experience
264 reviews
Johnny
33 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 L4-2.4L - Brake System Inspection - Sacramento, California
Johnny arrived early which was great, he performed the inspection in less than half an hour, and gave us a complete quote for all items needing attention, including the brakes as our main concern. Johnny is fast and efficient so I scheduled the work done by him.
Ford Escape - Brake System Inspection - Sacramento, California
The convenience is worth the cost. I was also tired of the dealership not really caring about my old car. Last couple of times I had to wait well over an hour to get my car after the dealership said "It's ready!". They also wouldn't fix the things I asked saying they didn't have time and I need to come back.

Jay

37 years of experience
947 reviews
Jay
37 years of experience
Chevrolet C10 Pickup V8-5.4L - Brake System Inspection - Moreno Valley, California
Knowledgeable, Professional, Friendly, and PATIENT! Sickeningly HONEST, as I tried to ply him with cash, alcohol, outside work, and wild dancing girls - although I wouldn't have "ratted him out" if he HAD accepted. A guy like this needs a "bigger cut" than what you are paying him ... because loyalty like his is hard to find these days! THANKS!
Volkswagen Jetta - Brake System Inspection - Moreno Valley, California
As usual, Mr. Jay provides efficient and professional quality of work. I would highly recommend him to any customer searching for a good mechanic.

Christopher

10 years of experience
114 reviews
Christopher
10 years of experience
Ford Explorer V6-3.5L - Brake System Inspection - Katy, Texas
Christopher was very knowledgeable and was able to address our concerns. We would trust him with future service needs.

Jesse

16 years of experience
61 reviews
Jesse
16 years of experience
Nissan Frontier V6-3.3L - Brake System Inspection - Flagler Beach, Florida
Jesse took the time to explain everything that was going to be done and why and then proceeded to repair my truck not only professionally but quickly. As a disabled Veteran and no longer able to perform work that was needed to be done it is nice to know a mechanic such as Jesse will take the time to explain all the various issues and what needs to be done before a blanket you need everything. After Jesse went thru everything I felt comfortable that all work was required and needed. 8 can safely say I will use yourmechanoc .com again and hope I can request Jess

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