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As one of the main parts of the braking system, the master cylinder is essential to ensure your car is safe to drive and that your brakes respond as you expect them to. It’s usually far easier to have it fully replaced rather than repaired, from both a practical and a safety perspective.

Replacing a brake master cylinder costs between $251 and $587 for the majority of commonly owned cars. The price discrepancies are all due to the cost of parts for various vehicles, with labor staying about the same no matter which vehicle you have.

Here we will look at how much it will cost to replace that master cylinder, how you can save some money when that time comes and how to recognize a failing master cylinder before it causes any serious damage.

Master Cylinder Replacement – Cost Comparison

Below are some sample costs for having the work done at a major repair shop around the country. Expect prices to vary depending on the type of car you have and where you’re based, but it should give you a rough idea of what you can expect to pay to have the master cylinder replaced.

Your Mechanic

Parts & labor12 months$189 – $503


Parts & labor12 months$172 – $532

Mr. Tire

Parts & labor12 months$214 – $566

Pep Boys

Parts & labor6 Months$230 – $699


PartsLimited$114 – $223


PartsLimited$48 – $297

What is the Master Cylinder?

2008-04-21_1990_Geo_Storm_GSi_master_cylinderThe master brake cylinder acts as a connecting piece for much of the baking system. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, braking fluid flows through the master cylinder and reaches the braking units that are attached to each wheel. You should make sure that your brake pads are in good shape before looking into the master cylinder.

If your master cylinder is wearing out, it is likely the seals on the inside and outside that are starting to go. Typically, if the braking master cylinder is losing its seals, it will need to be entirely replaced.

Benefits of Master Cylinder Repair

The master cylinder works with your entire braking system. If the seals are failing or the master cylinder is wearing out, then you need to have it replaced. Keeping it in great condition ensures that you can brake properly and that you are minimizing safety issues on the road.

The master cylinder ensures that barking fluid goes to all the braking units. When the seals inside are broken that fluid will just recirculate and cause serious problems for you. You need that master cylinder in perfect working condition to maintain a safe driving experience. Maintaining your brakes gives you peace of mind and ensures you are ready to handle most road hazards.

When Should You Replace Your Master Cylinder?

You will likely notice a problem with your braking master cylinder when you try to apply the brakes. They will feel less responsive than they should be.

Hopefully you can catch this kind of problem before then. You should have your brakes checked out regularly as part of your normal car maintenance and repair. With every oil change or servicing your brakes should be a priority; because once they aren’t working properly, anything at all can happen to you out on the road.

Your mechanic will probably notice the problem before you do as they inspect your brakes when you take your car in for a tune-up or servicing. If your mechanic tells you there is a problem with your braking master cylinder, then you need to get it fixed right away. This is not something you can put off until you have enough money for it. It simply isn’t worth trying to get by on anything less than properly functioning brakes.

What Is Done during a Master Cylinder Replacement?

  1. Your mechanic will start by looking at your brake master cylinder, trying to spot any leaks. If it is leaking, it will likely need to be replaced entirely.
  2. Then the brake booster will be inspected. That’s the round, black object sitting near your engine, and it can be found under the hood of the car.
  3. If the mechanic finds that your brake master cylinder is faulty, he will have to take it out and replace it with a new one. In order to disconnect the old cylinder, a socket wrench can be used to separate the connectors.
  4. A faulty master cylinder can contaminate the brake fluid, so the mechanic will change out that fluid while changing out the cylinder.
  5. Then the entire braking system will be cleansed of air. Air pockets can form inside the brake system, causing malfunctions and decreasing the reliability of the brakes.
  6. Changing out the brake fluid may have made a bit of a mess, so the mechanic will then clean off any brake fluid from the wheels and surrounding components.
  7. Finally, the mechanic is going to take the car out for a test drive and see how the brakes are responding to the new master cylinder.
  8. A garage test will be performed first to ensure the vehicle is safe to take out on the road.

How to Save Money on Master Cylinder Replacement

Servofreno_seccionadoThis is the kind of procedure that is on the threshold of do-it-yourself car repair. While most of the tools used to perform a brake master cylinder replacements are easy enough to acquire, there is a lot to be cautious about. If you don’t install the new braking cylinder properly, you can cause the brakes to malfunction, which can create very unsafe driving conditions. We believe that safety should be your first priority at Auto Service Costs and highly recommend a professional complete this repair.

You always want to check and double check at each step of the process to ensure that everything is being taken apart and put back together properly. You also want to be careful about getting any excess fluids on any other car components. But if you can handle it, you will save a lot of money by doing the work yourself. You may spend more time doing it than a mechanic would, but it can be a great learning experience.

Some mechanics will allow you to bring in your own parts, if you want to save some money on those. But if you are taking your vehicle to a dealership, that may not be allowed.

Simply keeping up with regular repairs and checkups will help you avoid the costs a malfunctioning braking system can incur. It always costs less to prevent the problem that to deal with its aftermath.

Sample Master Cylinder Replacement Costs

We’ve compiled some example costs for having the master cylinder replaced on the most commonly owned cars in the country. While it will vary from place to place, this should give you a rough idea of what you can expect to pay for the make, model and size of car you own.

Ford F-Series$126 – $161$162 – $253$288 – $414
Chevrolet Silverado$118 – $151$189 – $394$307 – $545
Ford Focus$173 – $221$97 – $204$270 – $425
Toyota Camry$236 – $301$207 – $286$443 – $587
Toyota Corolla$126 – $161$205 – $304$331 – $465
Nissan Altima$150 – $191$163 – $255$313 – $446
Honda CR-V$134 – $171$179 – $281$313 – $452
Honda Civic$134 – $171$117 – $196$251 – $367
Honda Accord$134 – $171$128 – $169$262 – $340
Ford Fusion$213 – $271$100 – $183$313 – $454

Brake Master Cylinder Costs Submitted By Our Users

Compare your quote to other individuals from around the country to make sure you are getting the best deal. The average for Brake Master Cylinder is $344

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