Brake Master Cylinder: the Heart of the Braking System

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Safety and vehicle control are two major things that clients look for when buying vehicles. There are a lot of operating systems that comprise an automobile. Among these, it is the braking system that facilitates safety and provides vehicle control. Not surprisingly, the braking system is one of those assemblies that motorists are particularly keen on. Having good brakes is simply a must. To have one, the components of the braking system must be in perfect condition. This also rings true for the brake master cylinder, which is considered to be the heart of the braking system. Motorists compare this braking component to a heart because, like the heart, it pumps. Unlike the heart though, it does not pump blood but brake fluid.

Its task is to build-up pressure to set the other braking components to work. To amplify the force applied to the brake pedal by the driver, the brake master cylinder puts on some pressure to the brake fluid. Hence, the brake fluid gets delivered to the brake booster that magnifies the pressure applied to the brake pedal and considerably slows down and stops the vehicle even if the brake pedal is only stepped on lightly.

When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the pistons move and generates pressure in the . This generated pressure allows for the fluid to compress evenly through each brake line and into the brake calipers. Normally, the vacuum of the engine is the one used to apply pressure to the braking system. When a problem occurs in any of the brake lines, this will not be the case. As a fallback, the brake master cylinder redirects the hydraulic pressure to the remaining functioning brake lines. In so doing, brake failure is prevented.

As the brake master cylinder is designed to be a hydraulic pump that keeps most of the braking components functioning, it is best to check on its condition regularly. A spongy brake pedal indicates a problem with the master cylinder. Once this happens or when a puddle of brake fluid is found under the vehicle, it is best to have the master cylinder replaced with a new one. Replacing a worn out master cylinder is essential in having a safe and well-controlled vehicle.

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