Power Brake Booster Test
If the pedal feels "hard" while the engine is running, the booster isn't operating correctly.
- With the engine off, pump the brake pedal to remove any residual vacuum in the booster.
- Hold pressure on the pedal while you start the engine. When the engine starts, the pedal should drop about a 1/4", this indicates that the booster is working properly.
- Run the engine a couple of minutes.
- Turn the engine off and press the pedal several times slowly. The first pump should be fairly low. The second and third should become slightly firmer. This indicates an airtight booster.
- Start the engine and press the brake pedal, then stop the engine with the pedal still pressed. If the pedal does not drop after holding the pressure on the pedal for 30 seconds, the booster is airtight.
Inspect the Check Valve
- Disconnect the vacuum hose where it connects to the intake manifold. Do not disconnect the vacuum line from the booster. Air should not flow when pressure is applied, but should flow when suction is applied. If air flows in both directions or there is no air flow, the valve needs to be replaced.
- Check the operating vacuum pressure when the engine is at normal operating temperature. There should be a minimum of 18 in. of vacuum. Vacuum may be increased by properly tuning the engine, checking for vacuum leaks and blockages in vacuum lines.