Everyone knows the importance of stopping your car when you want it to and the importance of having your car respond in the proper way. When you step on the brake pedal in order to slow down your vehicle in time, the braking system within your car uses a brake master cylinder to change the physical pressure you are placing on the pedal into hydraulic and mechanical pressure. The change of pressure between physical and hydraulic takes place due to the brake master cylinder transferring brake fluid to the braking circuit, showing the importance of this mechanism within your car. The average price of replacing the master cylinder cost comes in at between $250 and $300, but it can be more depending on the severity and scope of the fix.
Benefits of Master Cylinder Repair
The master cylinder is in charge of working with your entire braking system to ensure everything runs smoothly. If the seals are not working correctly, causing a fluid leak, or the master cylinder is wearing out over time, then you need to replace the master cylinder. Keeping this part in good condition makes sure that you don’t run into any further issues, you keep the overall master cylinder cost low, and you keep your vehicle safe and braking adequately.
The master cylinder makes sure that the braking fluid can be distributed evenly to all of the braking units within the system. When the seals inside are broken, the fluid, which could be contaminated or dirty, will just recirculate and not do any of the intended benefits. When your master cylinder is in good condition, it can maintain a safe driving experience. Paying to repair the master cylinder despite a potential high master cylinder cost can make sure you have a safe and reliable braking system.
Symptoms of a Broken Master Cylinder
Once the brake master cylinder starts to wear down over time, there will be various symptoms that are attributed to the damage and the decay of the master cylinder. This is actually a good thing, since you will be able to notice the brake master cylinder going bad over time and you can catch the problem before it is too late.
If you can address the problem immediately then you can prevent more expensive repairs in the future and lower the overall master cylinder cost. Further, it is extremely dangerous to drive on brakes that are not working properly. Even if you find that the master cylinder cost is higher than you initially thought, it is imperative that you fix this issue so that you can drive safely. We have broken down the top symptoms of a bad brake master cylinder that can affect the overall price of the master cylinder cost and the repair process.
First, the initial symptom that might clue you in to the problems with your vehicle is the warning light. This is the easiest symptom to notice, because it will appear as the Brake Warning Light illuminated on your dashboard. This shows that there is some kind of problem with the braking system, but does not necessarily show that the brake cylinder is the main culprit. You will need to do some more research after this light comes on to make sure that the master cylinder is the main issue.
If the braking system sensors indicate that the brake fluid pressure is decreasing, then this is more often than not due to a bad brake master cylinder. A brake master cylinder leaking fluid will mean you need to check out the price of a master cylinder cost for repair or replacement.
The second symptom of a bad master cylinder is a brake fluid leak. As we mentioned earlier, the brake master cylinder needs to turn the physical pressure into hydraulic pressure. In order to do this, it needs a certain level of brake fluid to create the pressure necessary to slow down and stop the vehicle.
If the brake master cylinder is leaking brake fluid or if there are reservoirs that are holding on to the incorrect amount of fluid, then you will have a low brake fluid level, resulting in you paying the price for a master cylinder cost.
Spongy Brake Pedal
The third symptom of a damaged master cylinder is a spongy brake pedal. A spongy feeling means that it won’t be depressed as easily and it does not feel like it normally does when you press it down. The master cylinder contains rubber seals that keep the brake fluid inside of it, meaning that these seals are a crucial part to preventing brake fluid leaks and overheating. If these become damaged, this can cause a spongy feeling in the pedal, and a higher overall master cylinder cost.
Contaminated Brake Fluid
Next, another sign that the master cylinder could be damaged is contaminated brake fluid. The seals that we talked about playing a huge part in the overheating prevention and the cleanness of the fluid play a part in preventing dirt and debris from mixing with the brake fluid.
If the seals do not do their job and the fluids mix, the brake pressure would not be the right strength when you step on the brake pedal. This would result in you having to press down much harder on the pedal to get the same amount of stp in your car. Fixing this issue before it hurts any other components can keep the overall master cylinder cost down.
Sinking Brake Pedal
In addition to the brake fluid contamination, another sign of a damaged master cylinder is a sinking brake pedal. The pedal will not only be harder to press down to get the same level of strength during a stop, but it will also not return or bounce back to the top after you have taken your foot off of the pedal. This means it will be harder to repeatedly brake and use it correctly. The pedal will sink to the floor instead of bouncing back up, causing a huge driving hazard and increasing the overall master cylinder cost.
Bad Brake Bias
One of the last signs of a bad master cylinder is a bad brake bias. Regarding the construction of brake master cylinders, the mechanism is often divided into two separate circuits. Both of these systems separate brake fluid to the wheels. This mechanism is used in order to prevent your braking from going off completely if there is a leak in just one side of the system. By separating the brake master cylinder into two parts, it prevents a total failure of your master cylinder, and enhances the safety.
Each one of these circuits will control one front wheel and one rear wheel in tandem. If you find that one circuit has failed within your car, then your vehicle might pull to one side during braking. This is because only one side of the car will be damaged, and the other will be working correctly. By only one side of the brake master cylinder not working correctly, this can reduce the overall price of a replacement of the brake master cylinder cost.
Uneven Brake Pad Wear
The last symptom of a bad master cylinder is uneven brake pad wear. Which can be caused by a failed circuit. If the circuit has failed, then only two of the four wheels are able to apply the brakes, meaning that only one side will be worn down and one side will look normally.
A failure of one of the seals within the master cylinder could cause a circuit to fail. This uneven brake pad wear can be noticed by the driver when you start to brake, as the car will oftentimes drift to one side.
Brake Master Cylinder Cost
If your brake master cylinder ends up going bad, the average cost to replace the cylinder will usually be between $320 and $500. The biggest expense when replacing the brake master cylinder in your car is the labor costs, which will come in between an average of $230-$300 for the total brake master cylinder cost.
Figuring out the total master cylinder cost for a replacement can depend on what service you use and the type of car you have (i.e. the make, model, and year). You can use a website like this one to determine the total price for your individual car, since the range can go from around $240 to a whopping $2433 for a replacement.
Further, the average price of a master cylinder cost is between $200 and $300, but it can be more depending on the type of the fox and if individual wheel cylinders also need to be replaced. If you figure out that the entire brake job needs to be done, which includes rotors, calipers, drums, pads, cylinders, and the master cylinder, this can even run you over $750 for the entire fix.
Since this price can skyrocket, it is best to stay on top of the master cylinder repair and replacement. Make sure you get the pads replaced as soon as you hear squeaking, to prevent uneven brake pad wear and further problems within your fuel system. The parts like the master cylinder can wear down over time, so you will have to replace the master cylinder eventually.
In order to give you a good idea of how much you might pay for your specific car, we have a few different estimates that you might get for your vehicle. First, one of the lowest prices in terms of a master cylinder replacement is a 2005 Dodge Viper, with the parts coming in at just $135 and the labor being $80, costing you around $215 for the master cylinder replacement.
The next cheapest option is a 2006 Volkswagen Beetle, with the parts running at around $123 and the labor being $111, with the total master cylinder cost coming in at around $235. The next in line in terms of least expensive replacement is a 2007 Acura MDX, averaging around $268 for a total master cylinder cost.
The more expensive options will run you at about $486-$500 for a replacement, with the 2014 Lexus RX450h having an estimate of $486 and an average dealer price of over $500 for the master cylinder cost.
Steps of a Master Cylinder Replacement
When you bring your vehicle in so the mechanic can give you the total master cylinder cost estimate and start the process of a master cylinder replacement, there are certain steps he will take to ensure the repair and replacement is done completely.
First, the mechanic will look at your brake master cylinder to see if there are any damaged spots or leaks. If it is leaking, then you will need to pay for a complete replacement, equaling a higher master cylinder cost.
Second, the brake booster will then be checked out and analyzed by your mechanic. Found under the hood of the car, this brake booster is a round, black object that is near your engine. This part is in charge of using a vacuum to overcome the fluid pressure within the system, and plays a huge role in stopping a car that uses disc brakes.
Next, the mechanic has to determine if your brake master cylinder is damaged or faulty. If he finds this, then he will have to remove the brake master cylinder and replace it with a new one, which will increase the cylinder cost. In order to remove the old cylinder, he will utilize a socket wrench to separate the connectors.
If the mechanic determines that it is a faulty master cylinder, then the brake fluid will also need to be changed. He will change out the fluid also while changing out the cylinder, with the addition of the fluid change adding a little bit to the total master cylinder cost.
After this step is completed, the mechanic will then have to clean the entire brake system of extra air and air pockets. Air pockets can form within the braking system, causing a lack of reliability in the braking power and issues within the consistencies of the brakes.
The last step in the process of replacing a master cylinder is taking the car out for a drive to see if everything is working correctly and if the total process has worked. Even though this can be somewhat pricey and time consuming, the overall master cylinder cost is worth the safeness and reliability of the price you will pay.