What Are the Signs of a Bad Master Cylinder?

by Contributor

The master cylinder is a vital element of a vehicle's brake system. Without a properly functioning master cylinder, it may become dangerously difficult to brake the vehicle to a complete stop. There are a few obvious signs that should alert you to replace your master cylinder.

Non-Returning Pedal

When you push the brake to the floor and it does not return to normal position, this may mean that you have a bad master cylinder.

Pedal Fade

If you push on the brake and it continues to sink after you have stopped braking, it may be caused by the hydraulic fluid leaking from the system. This typically means the master cylinder must be replaced.

Hydraulic Fluid Loss

Loss of hydraulic fluid is generally evidenced by wetness around the cylinder or on the resevoir near the master cylinder.

Reduced Stopping Power

Stopping power will decrease immensely as the pressure is decreased between the two cylinders needed for braking the vehicle.

Brake Warning Light

A warning light on the dash board will typically light up if the master cylinder is going bad. Seek the immediate attention of an automobile technician if this occurs.

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