• How to Repair Power Brakes in 5 Steps

    Repairing power brakes is a very sensitive procedure that needs a lot of care.

    Below are 5 steps for repairing power brakes.

    Step 1: Initial Checks to Verify the Need for Brake Repairs

    Most cars are equipped with a vacuum booster. The vacuum booster check, therefore, provides a quick means of verifying the effectiveness of your brakes. You can do this in 4 simple steps.

    • Switch off the engine.
    • Keep pumping the brake pedal until you completely bleed out the vacuum.
    • Hold the pedal down and simultaneously start the engine.
    • Confirm that the pedal depresses slightly as the vacuum refills.

    If the refill does not occur, you’ve either have a blocked hose or a damaged booster.

    If your car is fitted with a hydraulic-powered hydro-boost system, switch off the engine and follow the steps as detailed above. The failure of a vacuum refill signaled by the slight pedal depression on restarting the engine confirms a problem with your brake system.

    Step 2: Gathering Necessary Tools and Materials

    The tools needed for power brake repair include:

    • Service literature or manual guide
    • Automotive wrenches
    • Air-operated tools—where applicable
    • Hand tools—where applicable
    • Floor jack
    • Support stands

    Materials needed for power brake repair include: 

    • Brake fluid
    • Brake proportioning valve
    • Brake pads
    • Power brake master cylinder and booster
    • Brake lining

    Step 3: Actual Brake Installation

    Power brake installation can be carried out in these quick steps:

    • Remove the old master cylinder after loosening the nuts
    • Slide new master cylinder into pre-existing studs projecting from the firewall
    • Tighten all studs with a power wrench
    • Lengthen the connecting brake lines, if necessary
    • Install the brake proportioning valve
    • Add the brake lines and thread down by hand
    • Tighten the brake lines using the appropriate wrench

    Step 4: Bleeding the brakes

    Bleeding the brakes takes 11 easy steps:

    • Leave your engine running (applicable to power brakes).
    • Disconnect the metal tubing carrying fluid to all of the wheels.
    • Depress the brake a couple of times then hold the pedal down.
    • Open the brake fluid reservoir.
    • Using a wire brush, clean the fitting where the brake liner enters the back of the wheel.
    • Using an appropriate wrench, loosen the brake line fitting.
    • Close fitting back (but not too tight).
    • Instruct a second person to depress the brake pedal a few times and then hold the pedal down.
    • Open fitting gently while a second person keeps the pedal depressed (old fluid spurts out).
    • Close the fitting when all of the pressure has been let out.
    • Repeat pedal pumping until the pressure builds up again.

    Step 5: Final Safety Checks/Tips

    • Use Safety glasses.
    • Do not damage the brake lining fitting.
    • Keep pouring in the new brake fluid throughout the process of bleeding to keep all air out.
    • Remember to thread down lining by hand before using a wrench to ensure the proper fit.
    • Dispose of old fluid reasonably.

    Following these simple steps, you can safely and reliably repair your power brakes.