The use of master cylinders is most notably found in the clutch and brake systems on a vehicle. The master cylinders are part of the hydraulic brake system where they function to apply pressure to the brake pads, pushing the pads against the surface of the metal or carbon/ceramic drum or disc that rotates with the wheel, which causes friction between the stationary brake pad and the rotating drum/disc, providing the pressure that activates the brakes. In the clutch system, the master cylinder manages the slave cylinder and is essential in the operation of the clutch, playing a vital part in enabling the clutch to disconnect the engine when the vehicle is brought to a stop.
In the braking system, the master cylinders are located in the brake calipers and/or brake drum to which the car wheel is attached. The master cylinder is a bolt-on piece fixed to the backplate at the top, in between two brake shoes that are inside the drum. Inside the cylinder are two pistons that are forced via the foot brake, hydraulically, outwards horizontally which enables the brake shoes to make contact with the inside of the spinning brake drum causing the wheel to slow down accordingly to the time period and pressure applied to the footbrake. Access to the master cylinder is obtained with removal of the wheel and the brake drum. On vehicles equipped with drum brakes, the master cylinder is a common part to each wheel. On some vehicles all four wheels have drum brakes and some just on the rear wheels. On the latter the front wheels have disc brakes. The master cylinder in time can wear between the inside of the cylinder and the pistons, causing leakage of the hydraulic fluid, necessitating master cylinder replacement. This new cylinder will be complete with pistons and ready to install. After installation the hydraulic system will need to be bled to remove any trapped air.
In the clutch system the master cylinder is connected to a reservoir that stores hydraulic fluid. When the driver presses the clutch pedal the pressure from this act pushes an adjoining rod which is connected to the master cylinder. The master cylinder converts this mechanical pressure into hydraulic pressure by transferring the hydraulic fluid to the slave cylinder. This pressure is then applied to an attached pressure plate and finally to the clutch release bearing which brings the clutch in to operation. If you have an issue with the master cylinder you may first notice that you have trouble switching gears. You may also notice brake fluid by the pedals in the vehicle’s foot well, suggesting a fluid leak. A loud screech may also be noticed when holding down the clutch pedal with the brake down. You may also notice less resistance when depressing the clutch pedal or a clutch pedal that is stuck to the floor. This indicates the master cylinder needs replacing immediately.
When replacing the master cylinders on your brake or clutch systems seeking advice from your mechanic is always advisable. The master cylinder is the perfect replacement part when the master cylinders have worn on your car. Specifically designed for the make and model of your vehicle, it provides perfect compatibility, meaning you'll get a part that fits well, performs better and lasts longer.