Fix your Brake Booster -Hissing sound
I have been the beneficiary of a lot of people’s hard work over the years from this forum. With that in mind I wanted to share an experience that I had with my 99 ES 300. A few days ago when I turned off my car I heard a hissing sound. It sounded like there was a broken vacuum hose or more like a blown up balloon was letting out air. Within a second or two the hissing sound was gone, like the balloon let out all the air.
After doing a little bit of research I realize that the brake booster (44610-33530) was the problem. Original Lexus replacement was over $700, so I bought a refurbished one from Napa. Frankly I did not like the looks of this cheaply gray painted refurbished part. I return it back to Napa and then picked one up from AutoZone. To my surprise they both look the same. It's seem like a company called Cardone has a monopoly on refurbished brake boosters for Toyota.
What I noticed on these refurbished units was that they were still stamped "ASIN" and "Made in Japan" and furthermore they looked identical to what I had on my car. Meaning since there are no nuts or bolts on the booster it made me think about it how did they take it apart to refurbish it?
That's when I thought to examine my booster closer. What I noticed was where the booster connects to the master break cylinder, mine had a blown gasket. The refurbished one, had a new gasket. With a little pry tool I was able to remove the metal piece that was holding the plastic gasket in place. I could clearly see my gasket was worn/ripped. To my surprise it had a part number on it (44621-14840). However when I searched it and called the local Toyota and Lexus dealers they did not have the part in their system.
Then I head over to the local junkyard. I found a 2001 ES300 and with the pick tool I removed it's gasket. The guy at the counter charge me five bucks for the gasket. I came home pushed the plastic gasket in place then push the metal holder in place, bolted the 2 nuts for the master cylinder, and everything was back to normal!
Naturally this repair will not work if you have bad brake master cylinder, such as if it is leaking in to brake booster. I hope this fix will help some people out there….
Last edited by faydin; 08-02-15 at 06:47 AM.