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Master Cylinder: How Much Does It Cost to Replace?

CarPart  ·  March 15, 2022

Master Cylinder: How Much Does It Cost to Replace?

The brake master cylinder is an essential part of your car's brake system. That part typically lasts forever, which is why most people never have to worry about it. Even so, it’s still good to know when to replace the master cylinder and how much it'll cost you.

A new brake master cylinder will cost you at least $450. The price differs based on your car's make and model and tends to cost more for vehicles with ABS and other additional brake system features. 

If this is your first time thinking about brake master cylinder replacements, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to discover the costs, alternatives, and tell-tale signs that you need a cylinder replacement.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Master Cylinder?

You can expect to pay upwards of $450 for a brand-new master cylinder in Australia. Still, the final price tag will likely be higher for you depending on factors like your vehicle's make and model. The replacement’s quality and brand will also affect the price.

These days, an increasing number of newer car models rely heavily on other brake systems like traction control, anti-lock brake systems (ABS), and more.

As you might imagine, the more sophisticated a car’s brake system is, the higher a master cylinder will cost to replace. Not only will the part cost more, but so will the expertise required to install it in your vehicle.

Whether your car is an older model with a basic brake system or a newer model with something more complex, replacing the master cylinder isn’t cheap. 

The silver lining? Master cylinders are the kind of parts that typically last as long as the vehicle does.

In other words, you’re more likely to change to a new vehicle before ever having to replace the master cylinder. 

Even if you have to replace it, rest assured that it's a one-time investment that'll last you a long time.

Can You Buy a Used Master Cylinder?

Yes, you can buy a used master cylinder. As I’ve mentioned, master cylinders last so much longer than most other car parts. So, there’s a chance you can get a good deal from one of the wreckers near you.

However, you should still consider investing in a brand-new one instead. That’s especially true if you plan on keeping your current vehicle for a long time.

Firstly, buying a new one reduces the chances of you ever having to pay for another master cylinder repair in the next decade or so.

Besides that, you never truly know how much life is left in a used master cylinder or whether the last owner took good care of it.

When it comes to critical car systems affecting performance and safety (like your brakes are), it's always wise to consider buying brand-new spare parts as much as possible.

How Many Years Do Most Master Cylinders Last?

Given how high the master cylinder replacement cost is compared to other parts, a smart car owner would want to know how long it lasts. The good news is that a braking master cylinder will last at least 10-15 years, if not more.

That's why it's worth investing in a high-quality master cylinder replacement from a reputable brand so you can rest assured that it won't be a problem anytime soon.

Of course, the master cylinder will only last that long assuming nothing external interferes with it.

What Causes Brake Master Cylinder Failure?

The braking master cylinder will faithfully do its job for over a decade unless something happens to it.

Here are a few things that can cause the brake master cylinder to fail:

When these factors occur, they can cause your braking master cylinder to fail much sooner than it should.

That’s why regular inspection and maintenance of your braking system will prevent any unwanted damage to other parts, especially the brake master cylinder.

When Should You Replace a Master Cylinder?

Typically, the master cylinder is a car part that barely gets noticed because it works in the background and rarely needs any attention (i.e., maintenance) from you.

However, you should know at least a few of the signs of a master cylinder problem that might require a replacement.

Some of those tell-tale signs include:

You might notice that the signs listed above are common signs of other brake system problems as well.

That’s true.

That’s why you must inspect your car’s brake system thoroughly when you notice any combination of those symptoms. That way, you can quickly find out whether or not the master cylinder is the root cause and if you need to replace it.

Can Master Cylinders Be Repaired?

Yes, in many cases, you can repair a brake master cylinder. When a rebuild or repair is an option, that'll be an excellent way to avoid paying a high master cylinder replacement cost.

Still, your decision to repair or replace that part will depend on your circumstances.

For example, if your brake master cylinder is beyond repair, you’ll have no choice but to get a new one. Plus, if the repair costs aren’t that far from the price of a replacement, buying a new one might offer you more value.

However, if the issue with your cylinder is a minor one (like seals that need replacing), then a repair is the way to go.

Get your mechanic's advice on what to do, then decide what you can afford.

Can You Still Drive with a Bad Master Cylinder?

No, it’s dangerous to drive with a faulty master cylinder or brakes. Never forget that the master cylinder ensures your brakes work correctly. Without them, pressing on the pedal won’t slow down your car. That’ll put you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road at risk.

The master cylinder replacement cost will undoubtedly sting, but it pales in comparison to the damage, injuries, and potential loss of life if you fail to stop your vehicle quickly enough.

You can shop for a brand-new brake master cylinder through our Part Finder, which lets you send us a request for parts and see what suppliers have to offer. 

Once you fill out the form and send it to us, you'll start getting competitive quotes that you don't usually find in most auto parts stores! Try it now and get the best quotes!

By Ray Hasbollah

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