Signs of a Failing Master Cylinder

Jun 10, 2019

Signs of a Failing Master CylinderThere are certain things that go wrong with your car that causes extreme stress and anxiety. A failing transmission is one, and anything involving the phrase “engine rebuild” is another. The master cylinder is so essential to your vehicle’s safety, it is also considered a significant repair. However, when you bring your car to Clark Automotive, an issue with your vehicle’s master cylinder should not cause undue anxiety. We believe in empowering our customers with knowledge, being entirely honest about our assessment of your vehicle and offering a competitive price for our services. Below you will find some common signs of a failing master cylinder.

Common Signs That Your Master Cylinder Needs Repair

First, the term ‘master cylinder’ refers to the mechanism that converts linear forces into hydraulic pressure, which allows you to press your brake pedal with force and stop your multi-ton vehicle safely. Most of what makes up the master cylinder is simple, meaning that there are relatively few moving parts to wear out. Your master cylinder’s simplicity, therefore, allows it to last for a very long time. If you do a lot of city driving, you likely use your brakes more; if you do more highway driving, you will tend to use your brakes less frequently, which can extend the life of the master cylinder. No matter what kind of driving you do, however, the master cylinder is a mechanical device, which means that it will eventually succumb to the forces that act on it. If you begin to experience any of the signs described below, we recommend that you bring your car into Clark Automotive and let us check it out.

  • Sign #1: A soft, squishy brake pedal. Not the brake pedal itself, but how it feels when you depress it to stop your car. A braking system that is in good working order will depress to a certain point and you will sense that you do not need to press further. A braking system with a problematic master cylinder will depress to that certain point and keep going. If left unchecked, you could end up pressing the brake pedal closer to the floor and feel potential brake failure.
  • Sign #2: Leaking brake fluid. A component of the master cylinder that can wear out are the rings and gaskets that form seals, and hoses that connect components. If they fail, fluid will leak. A simple leak can be fixed easily, but if the fluid emerges from the housing, it may be your master cylinder that is failing.
  • Sign #3: “Dragging” or screeching from the brakes when depressed. In addition to audible clues, you will likely see either the Check Engine or the Brake Warning light come on. There are many reasons why these lights could illuminate, but in combination with the audible clues, it could indicate a master cylinder issue.

Minnesota Auto Repair Shop

Master cylinder issues can be simple, but they are always in need of immediate attention. Our auto mechanics know how to diagnose and repair master cylinders, so please bring your vehicle in if you see any of these signs. Call Clark Automotive at (763) 784-7944 with any questions.

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