The master cylinder is a hydraulic cylinder that uses hydraulic pressure to transfer force to operate another hydraulic cylinder. In automobiles, master cylinders operate both braking and clutches for manual transmissions. Master cylinders are located in the engine compartment and are mounted to the vehicle firewall or on a vacuum booster on vehicles with power-assisted brakes. The master cylinder operates using a pushrod that connects the master cylinder to a pedal in the passenger compartment through the vehicle firewall.
Master cylinders fail when the seals in the cylinder leak, preventing the master cylinder from building pressure and replacing the hydraulic fluid with air.
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