Brake master cylinder replacement from $549

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4.8 • based on 18 reviews of 18 businesses

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Average rating for Brake master cylinder replacement


4.8 • based on 18 reviews of 18 businesses

Brake master cylinder replacement

How much does a brake master cylinder replacement cost?

A car’s braking system is its primary safety system, allowing the car to slow down and stop when the brake pedal is pressed.

The master cylinder is the undercover component makes your brakes work in the first place.

Even though the brakes are used thousands of times in a car’s life, the brake master cylinder will typically only need to be replaced if it fails unexpectedly or becomes contaminated.

The average cost for brake master cylinder replacement varies widely, starting at $450 and ranging up to $800 or even higher, depending on the make and model.

Cars equipped with anti-lock brakes and traction control are among the more expensive ones for brake master cylinder replacement.

What is a brake master cylinder?

A brake master cylinder is a component found on the braking system on all modern cars.

It’s located near the firewall, usually attached to the brake booster. When the brake pedal is pressed, a rod forces a piston forward inside the brake master cylinder, which pushes brake fluid into the brake lines.

There’s just one brake master cylinder, although there’s typically two pistons inside the component.

The body of the brake master cylinder is cast from metal such as aluminum alloy or cast iron.

A plastic reservoir is mounted on top to feed fluid into the system.

The pistons are metal also, with seals to prevent pressure loss in the brake lines.

If the piston seals don’t hold pressure properly and fluid leaks back into the master cylinder, or if fluid leaks from the reservoir or fittings, the brake master cylinder will need to be replaced.

Symptoms you require brake master cylinder replacement

  • Brake fluid leaking from near the firewall
  • Brake pedal is spongy or sinks to the floor when pressed
  • The brakes don’t respond as they should or keep you at a stop
Brake master cylinder replacement cost

How is brake master cylinder replacement performed?

  • A technician diagnoses the braking system to isolate brake master cylinder issues
  • The bonnet is lifted and the brake master cylinder fittings are undone
  • The brake master cylinder is unbolted and removed, and a new part fitted
  • The fittings are attached and the reservoir is filled with new, clean fluid
  • The braking system is bled of air
  • The technician road tests the car to confirm the repair is complete

Tips to remember

  • If the brake master cylinder is replaced due to contamination, other components such as wheel cylinders, calipers, and brake hoses may also require replacement
  • During brake master cylinder replacement, it’s a good idea to flush the brake lines with new, clean fluid

How important is brake master cylinder replacement?

Having your brake master cylinder replaced at the first indication of a problem is the right way to go.

It gives you the assurance your car will stop every time you press the brake pedal.

Should you continue to drive your car with a faulty brake master cylinder, you put yourself, your family, and others on the road at risk.

Your car’s brakes may not respond normally, which is especially dangerous if you need to stop in a hurry.

If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit

We let you search and book from over 1,600 qualified mechanics, who eat car troubles for breakfast.

Image credit - Ballista at the English language Wikipedia