Question about 1999 Ford Explorer

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Brake booster Gone out

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  • Ford Master
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What you would want to try on the booster is a non-corrosive testing substance like water vapor or propane gas. I'll explain. Years ago propane gas was used to set the idle on pollution controlled engines so it is safe to draw into your motor. It will change the RPM of your running engine. Water vapor or spray will do the same thing but may not flow through the booster as easily. If the RPM does not change, the booster is not leaking.

The booster has a rubber diaphragm and if the booster is still good you would not want to ruin it with carb spray or anything else as a tester.

The supply line to the booster has a plastic fitting which should also be checked for leaks.

Should the booster be bad, it is easily changed on most models. If you can slide the Master cylinder away from the Booster while leaving the brakelines attached, you simply need to disconnect the plunger and any connections from the brake pedal. Remove the booster and slide in the new one.

There is also the chance that the Master cylinder is bad. If your fluid bypasses the seals in the Master cylinder you will not get pressure to the brakelines, regardless if you have a booster or not.

Posted on Mar 27, 2014

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

I have replaced 3 of 4 disc calipers on my pt cruiser. I have bleed brakes on all 4 calipers and have good brake pedal until I start the car.When I start the car the brake pedal goes to the floor.


Are you loosing brake fluid after you tighten that bleeder screw back? Your brake booster helps aid in the vacuum of the car - if you have an internal issue with that brake booster - you should check any vacuum lines coming off that booster. If you can answer with your year, make and model I can get you a more in depth answer - there are other things that can be causing your issues as well - from the master cylinder to other things. Good Luck. There's also a way to test that brake booster - do you have a pressure/vacuum gauge?

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This one I can be fairly certain of. It sounds like a rip in the vacuum power brake booster diaphram. Usually you just replace the whole power brake chamber, which includes the diaphram. You have to first remove the 2 bolts holding the master cylinder to the larger booster chamber, but you don't normally have to open any brake lines.
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Do you by any chance hear a hissing noise from under the dash? If so, yes, you have a bad booster. For it to do what you're saying, it would almost have to have a vacuum leak. However, if there is a problem with something in the ABS system, you should have an ABS warning light on. Also, ABS can make the pedal fade, but I've never heard of it making the pedal hard. Your diagnosis of a brake booster does sound likely, but I'll admit I can't be sure -- this is an odd one.

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My vote would be the Master Cylinder.
I had a truck sit for 4 years. After getting running again, it did the same thing you're describing. No brakes. I ended up replacing the Master Cylinder to fix the problem. Just make sure you bleed the system real good.

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