Proper operation of the master cylinder ensures your safety. The master cylinder is an integral part of the main braking system. The cylinder pressurizes the brake fluid supplied into the brake callipers and cylinders by means of brake hoses. Faulty operation of the master cylinder affects the entire system. Master cylinders tend to leak. If this is the case, you have to replace a leaking cylinder with a new one or have it reconditioned. In most modern cars, however, the cylinders cannot be reconditioned and require replacing.
Where is the master cylinder located?
The master cylinder is connected to the brake pedal. Its role is to properly pressurize the brake fluid, which is transferred through brake hoses into brake callipers and cylinders, in order to decelerate all car wheels. The cylinder is equipped with a reservoir containing brake fluid, from which it is delivered to the cylinder, and into which its excess is transferred. The cylinder consists of a housing, acting as a cylinder, and a piston with seals.
Why does the master cylinder wear?
The piston moving repeatedly inside the cylinder causes gradual wear of the seals, and, consequently, causes the fluid to leak in between the pump's sections and outside the braking system. Leaking fluid reduces the efficiency of brakes and affects the elements located near the cylinder, as it causes damage to the varnished surfaces and penetrates the power brake servomechanism, causing brittleness and cracking of the rubber membrane.
How is the master cylinder replaced?
If your master cylinder needs changing, you should have it done by a professional garage, as the procedure requires putting new fluid into the braking system and removing air from it. Replacing the cylinder boils down to unscrewing the hoses connected to it and the bolts by means of which it is attached to the servomechanism. A new cylinder is fitted in the reverse order.
What to keep in mind?
After removing air from the system, a test drive should be performed to check the operation of the brakes. Some master cylinder types require replacement of only piston seals, however, if the cylinder's housing is worn, the new seals will quickly disintegrate, causing another failure. The best idea, though, is to replace the entire cylinder to make sure that it is 100 per cent operational, as it is responsible for your safety.