Seven Signs Your Master Cylinder Is Bad

Many things can go wrong with your vehicle’s brake system and problems with the master cylinder is one of them. As with your brake pads and other brake system parts, the master cylinder will give you signs something is wrong. Ideal Automotive lists seven of them below and recommends that you bring your vehicle in right away for a brake inspection if you notice any of them.

Warning Light

Your brake system sends data to your automobile’s onboard computer and if something is wrong, your Brake light will illuminate on the dashboard. It should only come on when you first start your vehicle or when the parking brake is set; otherwise, there might be a problem with the master cylinder.

Leaking Fluid

Brake fluid is nearly transparent or light brown when it’s new and dark brown when it’s old. If your vehicle is leaking brake fluid, it could be coming from the master cylinder. Another source of fluid leaks is the brake lines. Either need to be fixed right away, as low brake fluid inhibits your braking ability.

Spongy Pedal

You step on the brake pedal to stop your car, truck, or SUV and it gives way and then catches. This is commonly called a “spongy” brake pedal and it’s also a sign of master cylinder trouble. Internal brake fluid leaks cause spongy brake pedals. Air in the brake lines can also create the sensation.

Dirty Brake Fluid

Brake fluid should never get dirty. It is completely encased in the master cylinder. If the rubber seals on the master cylinder wear down, dirt and road debris can get into your brake fluid and contaminate it. If you have to press harder on the brake pedal to stop your vehicle, your fluid is contaminated.

Sinking Pedal

Another sign it’s time for a brake inspection and, likely, a master cylinder replacement is a sinking brake pedal. If your brake pedal sinks to the floorboard rather than returning to its normal position, you have a master cylinder issue that needs immediate attention. The pedal should always return to normal.

Vehicle Pull

Your brake system’s master cylinder has two circuits to send the brake fluid to your wheels in pairs. This is a safety measure to stop your vehicle even if one of the circuits fails. If it is having trouble, you may notice that your automobile pulls to one side when you apply the brakes.

Uneven Pad Wear

Finally, if a circuit is failing or if you have trouble brewing in the master cylinder’s piston seals, you might end up with uneven brake pad wear. This is because more pressure is being applied to the wheels with the healthy circuit than the wheels without the healthy circuit.

Stop by Ideal Automotive in Blaine, MN, at the first signs of brake system trouble. You can call us today for an appointment.

Photo by Jeffy1139 from Getty Images Canva Pro

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