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Saturn L200 Brake Booster

How to Diagnose Common Saturn L200 Brake Booster Problems

Is stepping on the brakes starting to feel like an intense leg workout? This is probably because your brake booster is starting to fail. This is just one of the many problems you may encounter with the brake booster. It is important that you recognize such issues as they happen and find out what is causing them as soon as you can. This way, you can fix these problems before they become even more serious issues. Here are some Saturn L200 brake booster issues you should know, along with some tips on how you can diagnose them:

The brake pedal is hard and stops higher from the floor.

A brake booster makes it easy to stop your vehicle. If the brake pedal suddenly becomes too hard, you may have a problem with the entire brake booster unit; if you're lucky, though, you might just have a clogged or malfunctioning vacuum check valve. To test the brake booster, switch off the engine of your L200 and step on the brake pedal repeatedly to remove any remaining vacuum. While you have your foot on the brake pedal, start the car. The pedal should drop down a tiny distance if the brake booster is still working.

To inspect the check valve, remove the hose connected to the intake manifold. If you have a small air pump that can pump and suction air, you can use it in the next step. Try to pump some air into the line; a working check valve will make it hard to do so. Switch the pump into suction mode and try sucking the air out; you should be able to do this easily. If the check valve works perfectly, the air flow should only go in one direction, as demonstrated by the air pump.

There's some sort of air noise when the brakes are applied.

The brake boosters could have an air leak in it. To confirm this, shut off the engine of the L200 and pump the brake pedals repeatedly. If the brake booster is sealed properly, the pedal should get firmer on the second and third pump. A leaking brake booster will drop down to the same level no matter how many times you step on it. If there is no leak in the moving brake booster, you may just need to move the foam seal or the silencer of the booster to solve the problem.

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  • Saturn L200 Brake Booster: Inspection and Maintenance for a Safer Ride 27 February 2013

    Even an 80-year old woman can stop a two-ton truck with a light step on the brake pedal--this is all thanks to the brake booster. And so, the last thing you'd want is to have the brakes freeze up on you when you most need them. That is why it is important to make sure that your brake booster is always operating at its best. A regular inspection of the booster's performance and the vacuum hoses will let you know whether or not it's time to replace the unit. Read on to learn more tips on Saturn L200 brake booster inspection and maintenance.


    Inspect the vacuum hose regularly.


    The brake booster mainly relies on vacuum to be able to deliver the force necessary to operate the brakes. Be sure to check the vacuum hose for signs of discoloration or cracks; if it looks like the hose is about to break any moment, replace it immediately. Check for any clog or any other restrictions to the air flow in the hose. Make sure the connection to the brake booster and the intake manifold is sealed tight. A vacuum gauge may also be used to test the condition of the hose.


    Step on the brakes to check for any brake booster malfunction.


    Since the brake system relies on the brake booster for additional pedal power, the effects of a bad booster can usually be felt immediately. There are some ways to check the condition of your brake booster before things get out of hand, and they are incredibly simple, requiring you to step on the brake pedal and to switch your 9-3 on and off.


    To test for vacuum leaks in the brake booster, just turn off the engine and step on the brake pedal a few times. If the brake booster is working fine, stepping on the brake pedal will become incredibly hard by the third or fourth pump. To check if vacuum is being created in your booster, switch the car off and pump on the brakes until they are firm. After you switch the engine on, the pedal should depress further down a tiny bit--a good indication that the booster is working fine.


    Replace the brake booster when necessary.


    Once a brake booster fails, there is little you can do about it. Rather than cry about it, have the whole unit replaced immediately. Nothing is more dangerous than driving around with malfunctioning brakes.