If you're a car enthusiast or a mechanic, you know that the brake booster is an essential part of the braking system. But how can you tell if it's bad? Here are some signs to look out for. One of the most obvious signs of a faulty brake booster is the response of the brake pedal itself. Normally, you can step on a brake pedal without much resistance, but when it becomes significantly difficult to push or stops responding completely, you may have a problem with the brake booster. To test the brake booster, lightly press the brake pedal as you start the engine.
You should feel the pedal give way a little and then harden. If it gets difficult or if you don't feel any changes, it means the brake booster has failed. Do you hear a whistle when you press the brakes? This could be a sign that there is a vacuum leak in the system, which could be affecting the performance of the brake booster. Trying to press the pedal four times on a brake pedal that is difficult to operate or that does not return to its normal position is another good sign that the amplifier must be replaced or that there is a possible vacuum leak.
A stiff brake pedal is normal when the engine is not running, since there is no vacuum pressure inside the brake booster. However, if you notice that your vehicle's engine is suffocating or having ignition failures when you press the brakes, it could be due to a faulty gasket inside the brake booster. In high-altitude locations where vehicles cannot produce enough vacuum for the brake booster, a vacuum pump may be used. If your existing unit is in poor condition and needs to be replaced, it's usually best to go with a new one.
However, there are services that will rebuild your existing unit if necessary. When everything is working properly, pressing on the brake pedal should make it much easier to operate and improve your vehicle's braking response. Paying attention to these signs can help you avoid many problems that can arise from having a faulty brake booster.