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Turbo Brake Booster

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Installing a Turbo Brake Booster

The turbo brake booster is an integral element of the power brakes used in turbo-charged vehicles, as they help make braking easier. In this guide, we're going to show how to install a turbo brake booster in your car.

Required skill level: Intermediate

Needed tools and materials:

  • Socket wrench and socket extender (optional)
  • Open-ended wrench
  • Pliers
  • Masking tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Finding the brake booster

    Open the hood and locate the brake booster. The appearance and location of the brake booster depends on the vehicle it's installed in, although it usually looks like a 3 to 4-inch thick disc that is attached to the brake master cylinder.

    Detaching the brake lines

    Using the open-ended wrench, loosen and remove the tube nuts securing the four brake lines to the master cylinder. We recommend marking the location of each brake line with masking tape and permanent marker so you won't get them mixed up later on. Turn the tube nuts counter-clockwise to loosen them - take extra care not to damage the end of the nut while doing so.

    Removing the nuts and bolts

    Remove the bolts and mounting nuts securing the brake booster to the master cylinder, brake panel, brake pedal, and firewall. Some of the bolts and nuts may be hard to reach and may require the use of a socket extender to remove. We also suggest putting a drain pan underneath the cylinder to catch brake fluid leaking out.

    Taking out the retaining pin/clips

    Pull out the retaining clip or pin connecting the brake booster to the brake pedal. You can use a pair of pliers to pull the clip holding the pin in place and tapping the pin out with the end of the pliers. Once the pins are out, carefully pull the brake booster out of the engine compartment.

    Aligning and mounting

    Align the mounting bolts of the new brake booster to their respective holes and slide the booster into place. If the mounting holes are located on the firewall, make sure that the booster sits snugly against the firewall. Next, align the mounting bracket with the bracket on the brake booster. Slide the retaining pin through both brackets and replace the clip holding the retaining pin in place.

    Replacing the nuts and bolts

    Replace all the bolts you removed earlier and tighten them accordingly. Once all the bolts are in place, slide the back of the master cylinder over the end of the brake booster piston until it sits flush against the booster. Reattach the master cylinder bolts and tighten them properly.

    Reattaching the brake lines

    Replace the brake lines to their respective locations and re-tighten the tube nuts.

    Turbo Brake Booster Articles

    • A1 Cardone or Centric: Which Brake Booster Gives the Better Boost?

      Quick response, ease of use, hassle-free installation, and reliability: these are the qualities you should look for in a turbo brake booster. Centric and A1 Cardone, two of the most popular brands that offer turbo brake boosters, claim that their boosters have these qualities. So we put these two brake boosters to the test to see which claim is true and which one is not up to speed.


      Both brands claim that the seals, diaphragms, check valves, and other components of their brake boosters are vacuum-tested and come with a corrosion-resistant finish to protect against rust. We also tested the boosters ourselves by turning off the engine and pressing down on the brake pedal to see how much boost they can provide even without power. The A1 Cardone brake booster provided two to three presses on the pedal before it ran out of vacuum, while the Centric booster lasted for only two presses.

      WINNER:: A1 Cardone


      For our review, we installed an OE-comparable A1 Cardone and Centric turbo brake booster on a 2004 4-cylinder Dodge Neon R/T. Both boosters performed remarkably, almost exactly like that of the OEM booster, stopping the vehicle at only a light press on the brake pedal.

      WINNER:A1 Cardone and Centric


      We didn't have much trouble installing the A1 Cardone and the Centric turbo brake booster onto the Neon. Both matched the configuration of the factory brake booster, so this shouldn't be much of a surprise. Both boosters also came with the mounting nuts and washers.

      WINNER:A1 Cardone and Centric


      The cost of A1 Cardone turbo brake boosters range from $150 to $200, and they come with a lifetime A1 Cardone limited warranty, while the Centric turbo brake booster is much cheaper with a price range of $70 to $100 but only has a 90-day, 3,000-mile Centric limited warranty. So while you'll certainly save money at the start with Centric, you'll be a little less worried in the long run if you had a A1 Cardone turbo brake booster.

      WINNER:A1 Cardone and Centric

      The verdict

      Both the Centric and the A1 Cardone brake booster did exceptionally well in terms of performance, as we didn't put up much of an effort on the brake pedal. So if you are on a tight budget, a Centric brake booster seems like a good choice. But if you have extra cash to spare, an A1 Cardone brake booster does have better reliability and better warranty.