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What is the role of a master brake cylinder? The master cylinder works within the hydraulic brake system. Transmits the brake fluid under pressure to the brake calipers. If the vehicle is equipped with a rear drum brake system, the brake cylinder transports the fluid directly into the wheel cylinder. This causes the brake shoes to rub outwards against the drums. The fluid moves thanks to a network of rigid tubes and brake hoses that resist pressure. Whatever your car, find your brake pads or discs at Engine Finder, the online smart maintenance expert.