Safe to drive 2002 S60 if a brake booster is needed? (Only 37500 miles on this car)


#1

No indication of problem with brake performance. Is it safe to drive until I can get brake booster installed?

I appreciate the responses to my question of ‘whistle’…each agreed that a brake booster most likely the cause.


#2

First thing you should do is pop the hood and check your brake fluid level. Low fluid level and whistling is consistent with worn out brake pads. Regarding brake booster failure, if you can activate the abs without the brake booster, then you are okay, in theory. It really depends on how developed you leg muscles are. But if you get into an accident and the investigator finds out you’re driving without a properly working brake system, then you’ll be in deep trouble.


#3

Is it “safe” to drive?
Nobody can say.

I think that this question depends to a very great extent upon the driver’s leg strength, because an incredible amount of strength can be needed to properly apply disc brakes when power assist is lost. Some people will have sufficient leg strength, and others will not.

Will you actually lose power assist? Maybe yes, maybe no.
When might you lose the power assist? Nobody can say, from afar.

Please bear in mind that, while I and a few others were of the opinion that the problem related to the brake booster or the booster’s check valve, it is also possible that the noise is coming from the wear indicators in the brake pads. Either way, this car needs to have its brake system thoroughly inspected by a competent mechanic, but I would not feel comfortable making the decision about whether the car is currently safe to drive, or how long it would remain safe to drive.

When there is any question about the condition of one’s brake system, it is best to have the car towed to a repair shop, or to park the car until you can have it towed.

Incidentally, we would all appreciate it if you reported back to us after the car is repaired. A follow-up regarding the exact nature of the repairs is very helpful to us!


#4

You need to take your vehicle in and have the brakes checked by a good independent mechanic. Guessing always turns out to cost more money in the long run…always. Please follow up when you find out the cause of your whistle. I may or may not be losing sleep over this.


#5

As a mechanic, I’ve worked on cars with bad brake boosters

They should NOT be driven on the road

It’s asking for trouble