While brake pedal problems can increase the risks of accidents simply because they delay the vehicle's reaction time, they should generally never be enough to discourage you from buying a vehicle you like. This is so especially if the problem in question is a hard brake problem because this is a problem that is easy to fix. This makes fixing the problem worth the bargain that you can get from purchasing the problematic car. Here is what you should know about hard brake problems and why fixing the problem is not as hard as people sometimes imagine.
The brake booster and effortless braking
While the hydraulic brake system is effective in transmitting the pressure generated by stepping on the pedal to the wheels, the hydraulic system is rarely effective in making the pressure application effortless. To make the pedal-stepping process effortless, manufacturers usually use a booster that uses a vacuum system that amplifies the effect of stepping on the pedal.
Hard brake pedal problems usually occur when this vacuuming system fails. Fixing the vacuuming system is therefore the easiest way to get rid of this problem.
The vacuum hose connecting the booster to the engine
The vacuum that helps the booster to amplify brake pedal movements is usually created by the engine. To make this possible, the booster is usually connected by a hose that then transfers the vacuuming effect to the booster's diaphragms.
However, there are times when the wrong hose is used. A common mistake that most people make is to use a fuel hose to connect the booster and the engine. And since such a hose is not designed to deal with the vacuuming effect created by the engine, it usually collapses under the force of the sucking effect. This effectively denies the booster the vacuuming power that helps it function and thus causing the hard brake pedal problem.
Underpowered brake booster
Different brake boosters provide varying boosting effects. If your vehicle has an undersized booster, it may not provide enough brake amplifying effects to make the braking process as effortless as it should be. In such cases, you will need to use more-than-normal force just to get the brakes to work.
The vacuum creation process depends on how effectively the engine can suck air from the booster. As a result, the size of the port used to connect the hose and the engine matters. If the port is too small, the vacuum creation process won't be as effective as it should be. This will create a weak amplifying effect that will then cause hard brake pedal problems.
Most of the causes of hard brake problems are easy to fix. If the problem is a hose that gets sucked shut every time the engine creates the vacuum, you should replace it with a vacuum hose which cannot collapse under pressure. Using a large enough port in the intake manifold will eliminate the small-port problem. As for an underpowered brake booster, you can install an electric vacuum pump that can provide the vacuuming power that the booster needs to make braking effortless.
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