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The brake master cylinder has a piston that pressurizes fluid in the brake lines to each wheel cylinder as you apply force to the brake pedal. That pressure moves the pistons that are in the wheel cylinders. As the pistons in those wheel cylinders move, they force the brake pads or shoes tightly against the rotors or drums allowing the car to stop quickly.
The size of the pistons in the master cylinder and in the wheel cylinders are carefully selected when designing a car. This allows drivers to apply moderate pressure on the brake pedal when stopping, but creates tremendous pressure applied at the wheel cylinders. A car can then stop quickly even at high speeds. Depending on how much force is applied to the brake pedal, the pressure in a car’s brake lines will typically be in the range of 800 PSI to 2,000 PSI.
No, any fault in the master cylinder, which is part of the braking system creates a safety risk. A fully operational brake system is essential to quickly stopping your car. Driving a vehicle isn’t safe, if the master cylinder is leaking or has other faults, as braking distances might be longer than normal. The braking system on a vehicle is among the most important safety systems and must be fully functional to safely drive your vehicle.