Ever notice how easy it is to apply pressure to the brake pedal and have your car come to a complete stop? This is all due to the brake booster, which helps decrease the amount of force that you need to apply. If you have a vacuum-assisted brake booster, it will help to know the signs that this part is broken and needs to be repaired.
Service Engine Light
The brake booster can actually set off an error code that triggers the service engine light, even though it is not a part you would associate with the engine. This is because a vacuum leak can cause air to enter the engine, which disrupts the combustion process and causes engine misfiring. A certain error code points to a problem with the vacuum leak. You can have the error code read by a local auto parts store, or take it to a mechanic and have them investigate the problem.
Pressing down on the brake pedal will cause air to go into the brake booster. If the vacuum is broken, that air is going to go into the engine. This leads to the air/fuel ratio becoming disrupted, which can lead to the engine stalling on you when you apply the brakes. That's why you should pay attention to what your vehicle is doing if it stalls.
A vacuum assisted brake booster can cause an odd noise to happen when you are driving the vehicle, and it does not matter if you are applying the brakes or not. It is very similar to a hissing noise, which is caused by air escaping through the vacuum. This could indicate a problem with a seal that is damaged around the vacuum that needs to be replaced.
Hard Brake Pedal
Have you noticed that your brake pedal is a bit hard to press down on? This is due to the brake assistance no longer working, and it feels like you just added weights to a piece of gym equipment that you move with your legs. The diaphragm of the brake booster is likely damaged since it is unable to create the vacuum needed to assist with moving the brake pedal.
Have you noticed that it takes longer to come to a complete stop when you use the brakes? This slow braking is caused by a brake booster failure. Not only is this inconvenient, but it's' a huge safety hazard when driving.
For more information, contact a local auto shop.