The brake master cylinder is the heart of the brake system in your car.
This central part of the brake system, which appeared in the 1930s, transforms the pressure exerted by the driver on the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. It sits at the top of the braking system and makes sure to transmit the hydraulic pressure further down the system for the wheels to stop.
The brake master cylinder has a fluid reservoir and a filler cap at its top, where the brake fluid is stored. At the bottom, it has two proportioning valves - in case one of these valves has a default, the driver will still be able to brake thanks to the second one. However, the warning light for brakes will turn on, indicating a dysfunction.
After the brake master cylinder, the brake pipes transfer the hydraulic brake fluid into the next part of the system. This is either the brake caliper on the disc brakes, or the wheel cylinder in the drum brakes. Here, the pressure is applied to stop the movement of the wheels.
Usually, if a malfunction appears regarding the brake master cylinder, most of the time you're dealing with a brake fluid leakage problem.
The price for the brake master cylinder will differ mainly depending on your car brand, and the type of spare parts used by the mechanic. The part itself can cost several hundred pounds. The labour can last from 1 hour to 2 hours: The price of the whole replacement will, therefore, depend on the labour cost of each garage, but usually you'll pay around £500.
Several symptoms may suggest that this spare part has a failure. It can be that your car slides when braking or you can also have the sensation that the braking pedal is stiffer when pressing it. Besides that, you might notice a longer braking distance, or unusual noises coming from the braking system.
The causes of defects can be various (mechanical issues, brake fluid leakage, etc).
It is important to repair or replace the spare part in case of failure. It is possible to carry out the repair or replacement yourself, however, we would not advise it, as any improper handling of the braking system can have serious consequences for your safety when driving. It is therefore highly advisable to let a professional mechanic perform this repair.
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