Q: Brakes unresponsive only one time

asked by on August 18, 2016

The other day I was about to park the car and apply the brake but it was unresponsive. So I tested it right away by reversing, then braking and going forward and applying the brakes again. The brakes were working normally then. I was told by a mechanic that this could be caused by a bad master cylinder but that this brake failure had to happen again. He tested the brakes numerous times but this didn't happen again. What do you think? Should I be worried?

Inoperative brakes are a definite safety concern. If it happened once, it will happen again. Unfortunately, if the vehicle isn’t currently acting up, it may be difficult to diagnose. The mechanic is correct that the most likely cause of your concern. The master cylinder is the main component in the brake hydraulic system. It’s job is to transform the force of the driver’s foot on the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. If there is excessive pedal travel but no external brake fluid leaks, the master cylinder is leaking internally and should be replaced. I suggest you give the team at YourMechanic a call for a second opinion and diagnosis of your car’s brake system.

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