Do you ever wonder how your car stops within seconds even if you are driving at a galloping speed on an adventurous road?
Wonder no more!
The brake boosters in your car are behind that magic happening. Want to know how it happens and what brake boosters are? then here we present you the guide to brake boosters which will give you everything about brake boosters.
What are Brake Boosters?
A brake booster also known as a power brake, vacuum booster, and brake vacuum servo is a safety and protection device used to prevent any mishappenings as it decreases the chances of brake failure. They are positioned between the brake pedal and the brake master cylinder. It magnifies the force applied on the brake pedal so that we don’t have to apply much pressure while trying to stop a car.
It decreases the human effort needed to slow down/stop a vehicle and helps to stop a car as soon as the force is applied to the brake pedal.
The booster uses a vacuum pump to apply atmospheric pressure to help in pushing a piston that exerts hydraulic pressure on the brakes.
How Brake Boosters Work?
Brake boosters are built to stop heavy vehicles easily. When you push the brake pedal, you apply approximately 70 pounds of force. It is not sufficient to slow down/stop a 4000+ pound vehicle. This is where the work of brake boosters begins.
A brake booster increases the pressure on the brakes by two hundred-three hundred pounds, converting the force to hydraulic pressure. This force then travels through the brake lines via brake fluid, to activate the brake pads/ brake shoes and bring your vehicle to a halt.
Brake boosters have 2 chambers: one is attached to the brake pedal and the other one is attached to the dual-pistol master cylinder. These diaphragms amplify the force exerted on the brake pedal. There is a rod attached to the brake pedal that travels through the diaphragm to reach the dual-pistol master cylinder.
When you press the brake, a liquid transmits that pressure to the brakes. When the pressure is applied to the brakes, a shaft connected to the power brake moves forward thrusting a piston to the main brake cylinder.
After passing through the brake cylinder, the liquid reaches the wheels and clasps the brake rotor’s pads to slow down the vehicle’s speed. The frictional force transmits the energy to the tires and then to the road, ultimately stopping your vehicle.
Types of Brake Booster
The three most commonly used brake boosters are vacuum boosters, hydraulic boosters, and vacuum pumps.
Let’s dive into the details so you can find the right one for your vehicle!
1. Vacuum Brake Boosters
A vacuum booster is the most preferred one out of all. It uses an engine vacuum on a vacuum pump to multiply the energy on the brake pedal to stop a vehicle.
2. Vacuum Pumps
These boosters are usually found in vehicles with turbocharged, electric vehicles and diesel engines vehicles. Vacuum pumps help in producing enough engine vacuum at higher altitudes and lower pressure in these vehicles.
3. Hydraulic Brake Boosters
Hydraulic boosters take energy from the steering pump and use the hydraulic pressure on the brake pedal to slow down the speed of a vehicle.
Signs of a Failing Brake Booster
The most common symptoms you should keep an eye for are:
- Difficulty in pressing the brakes: If the booster loses its force-amplifying ability, it will get harder for you to press the brakes while driving.
- A high brake pedal: You should keep monitoring if the brake pedal is slightly higher than usual and you have to lift your foot more to press it. It is a sign that you should get your brake booster checked.
- Stop time: If your car is taking more time to slow down and stop, you should immediately consult a car brake mechanic and get your brake booster diagnosed.
- Leaking fluids: If you see any fluids coming out of your vehicle, do not take it lightly and get your brake booster checked instantly. This issue usually occurs in vehicles with hydraulic boosters.
- Warning light turned on: If the Anti-lock brake system, traction or stability control light is on, this means the brake system is shutting down.
- Hard brake pedal: When a brake booster is starting to fail, it gets harder to apply pressure on it and also the vehicle stops slower than usual. You will feel it while trying to slow down your car/truck that you need to apply extra force on the brake pedal. This is a sign that you should get a brake booster inspection by a car mechanic.
- Hissing noise: If you hear a hissing sound under the brake system, it is one of the signs that the brakes of your vehicle are failing. Every time you apply pressure on the foot brake and hear a noise, you should instantly get your brake booster checked by a professional.
- Noisy Brakes: If there is a squealing sound when you apply pressure on the brakes, it means your brake booster is damaged. The reason behind is less vacuum pressure in the system.
You should not avoid any of these signs and if you notice any of them, visit a service center for vehicle inspection immediately. Otherwise, the situation will really get worse.
How Do I Choose a Brake Booster?
Before choosing the brake boosters, you should probably check the fittings, vacuum valve and vacuum hose because this is where most failures begin.
If there is no problem with the valve, hose and fittings, now you should check the brake boosters.
If you notice any glitch in your brake booster, you can simply check it yourself using the following method:
- While sitting on the driver’s seat, set the transmission to neutral and start the engine. Let it run for two-three minutes and then, turn it off.
- Now press the brake pedal up and down six times to get rid of any extra vacuum. When you start the engine, you will feel that the brake pedal is moving downwards, or you don’t have enough vacuum in the brake.
- Then push the pedal down while turning the engine on. If the car brake immediately becomes stiff or feels harder while pressing, there might be chances of brake failure.
To sum up, a brake booster is a device that helps to amplify the force on the brake pedal. Its main aim is to make it easier to slow down and stop the car. There are various options available for you to choose the right brake booster as per your requirements. If you see any of the above-mentioned symptoms of brake failure. Get it diagnosed by a brake specialist or call a mobile brake specialist immediately. Get it fixed as safety is of paramount importance. You’ll find a lot of mobile brake services in Adelaide.
Also Read: Top 7 Reasons Why Your Brakes Are Squeaking