Power brake boosters fade, or just die (?).

Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
871
Location
ME
My daily driver is 22 years old. The brakes work just fine, are up to date with maintenance, but when I drive customers' cars I am amazed at how smartly the cars stop, compared to mine. I know the booster (vacuum assist) works, but I can't possibly remember how they performed when new. So is it an either / or situation? I mean do they die, or does the boost effectiveness gradually fade?
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Messages
1,869
Location
Texas
Mine have always started having a vacuum leak first before they go out completely Everything is 22 years old on your car so none of it works like new Over time you just get used to it
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,984
Location
ME
I've noticed this too and think they just upped the boost because people like the feel. I had a 15+ year old dodge dakota that I think had a vacuum leak in the booster (occasional racing idle after using brakes) but its brakes were still great.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
186
Location
WI
I don't believe you mentioned what you drive.... If it has rear drum brakes, they are the single most important factor - if all else is functioning normally - in determining pedal feel. Make sure your rear brakes are in good shape and adjusted up properly/snug for best pedal feel. Then any other issues from the booster,master cylinder, etc can be properly addressed. BurrWinder
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2008
Messages
544
Location
Roswell GA
Originally Posted By: Chris142
Usually they start to hiss when you step on the pedal long before they quit working.
If that's the sign, I need to replace the booster on my 91 Ranger. It definitely hisses but otherwise seems to stop fine.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,654
Location
NorthEast
If you have rear drum brakes and if your brakes feel a *lot* better after a pump or two, then the rear needs to be adjusted to reduce the pedal travel.
 
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