When Should You Replace Brake Lines?

January 27, 2012

Brake lines are a commonly overlooked item when performing brake repair. There are several reasons to replace them and these reasons are; maintenance, breakage and collapse. This article will outline these three reasons for replacement and what to look for when determining whether to replace them or not.

Replacement due to maintenance is the most overlooked reason. When it comes to vehicle maintenance, most people do not think of brake lines. Old brake lines can, over time, cause major brake issues. Rust is one large reason o replace the metal brake lines of your vehicle. Rust contaminates the fluid and can cause tearing of rubber seals in the brake master cylinder or in the calipers. On rubber hoses, the rubber slowly begins to deteriorate due to moisture and heat. This deterioration can cause brake failure from breaking or collapsing. Rubber hoses also come apart internally, contaminating the fluid with small rubber particles. Though maintenance is usually overlooked, you know what to look for when deciding to replace brake lines before hey break.

When your vehicles brake lines completely break it can be a very scary situation. Once a line breaks, there is no more pressure in the brake system which can cause the brakes to completely fail. Any time you do any sort of brake repair, you want to inspect all of the rubber hoses for small pin holes or large crack which are signs that they are close to breaking. If you see this, replace the hoses along with the other repair. It is also beneficial to take a look at the hard metal line as well. These lines can get small holes as well. They are more difficult and pricey to replace, but it is worth it considering the headaches it can cause in the long run.

The last reason for replacing brake lines on your vehicle is due to collapse. Brake lines collapse for several reasons. Typically, metal lines collapse from impact and rubber lines collapse due to age. When a line collapses, it can cause several symptoms. The most common symptom is a pulling condition upon braking. It is relatively difficult to diagnose a collapsed rubber line because you cannot physically see the inside of the line. The rule of thumb is usually if the vehicle pulls to one side while braking and the caliper shows no damage, then replacement of the brake hose is required. Metal lines are easier to diagnose because you can physically see the damage in the line. In either case, it is very important to fix the problem to prevent any braking problems from occurring.

Now that you have a basic idea as to when brake line replacement is required, you can now perform that brake repair properly. One good rule to follow is that proper maintenance can help keep away expensive repairs in the long run. This rule holds true with brake lines as well.


Related Questions and Answers

Do You Have to Replace Car Brake Discs After a Brake Lining Repair?

Replacing your car brake discs after a brake lining repair will vary according to the model of your car. First, check the brake lining thoroughly. If you have managed to do a good job, then you can proceed to check the car brake discs too. Usually the rule of thumb is that all disc brakes and disc brake linings have to be replaced every 10,000 miles. This is because the brake pads rub against the brake discs to create the friction that will stop the car. This will cause wear on the brake pads, the brake linings on them and the car brake discs. If you know how to use a micrometer, use it to take measurements of the discs. If you don't have a micrometer, check out the discs visually. A groove on the disc indicates that it should be replaced, or at least resurfaced at a machine shop.

Do You Need Different Types of Brake Line Clips for Rubber or Metal Brake Lines?

Yes you do, because each kind of brake line comes in the form of kits that will include special brake line clips. The function of the brake line clips is to hold the lines away from the tire and prevent them from being worn down. When you are checking your brake lines, take a look at the brake clips that are present. Rubber brake lines will usually use c-shaped brake clips that are holding the lines together. But most modern cars now use metal brake lines that don't really require a brake clip. Check the manufacturers manual on your car for more information.

How often should I Replace a Car's Drum Brake Lining?

Most car mechanics and makers say you should replace your car's drum brake lining when it has worn down to about 1/8 inches or less. You can tell when this happens by measuring the lining with a tape measure. You should plan on having to replace them about every 12,000 miles, or a year of use, whichever comes first. Before you even try to do this, you will probably have already noticed your brakes are making a loud, squealing type of noise. Heed this noise and get your brake drum lining replaced as needed.

What is the Best Way to Check a Car's Brake Linings?

It is very important to take some time to check brake linings on your vehicle as part of its regular maintenance. One way of checking is to use a tape measure or ruler and see how much the lining has been worn down. If it has been worn down to around 1/8 inch, then it is time to replace them. This may be as often as every 12,000 miles or a year of use, whichever comes first. There is a sensor located on your brakes that will also cause a loud, squeaky noise to occur if your linings are worn down. If you hear this noise, it is definitely time to replace them.

Will Performance Brake Discs Help Me Stop Faster?

If you want your car or truck to be able to stop faster and work more efficiently, then putting on performance brake discs and pads is one of the better ways to do this. Some experts think putting on these types of brake discs and pads can even be more efficient than just replacing your brake rotors with new ones. According to the claims of some brands of performance brake discs, they are made to perform at three times the level of regular brake discs. These types of brakes are made with a special sort of coating that helps to prevent corrosion and helps them to look better.

Where can I find Brake Service Coupons?

Getting brake service coupons can help you save money when you get your brakes serviced at either a local dealership, or at a commercial location or gas station. Coupons are a good way to help cut the cost of getting your brakes serviced. Go online and see if you can find a coupon through some of the websites for the dealership or repair location you are going to take the car to. For example, if you are going to take your car to Firestone, just take a look at Firestone's website to see what kind of specials or coupons are being offered. There are also special websites such as Ultimate Coupons that offer manufacturer's coupons for many different places.

What Type of Tools are Required for Replacing Automotive Brake Lines?

Since repairing automotive brake lines means maintaining the tubes or pathways that carry brake fluid within the brake system, you will need several types of tools. One type will be wrenches. Since the lines are usually joined together by hexagon fittings, you will need to use two wrenches simultaneously to loosen them. Another type would be various tube cutters in order to properly and accurately cut the tubes for the brake system. You need to be precise when cutting the tubes in order to prevent brake fluid leaks, which could be very dangerous. These two types of tools are the most important ones you will need when replacing and maintaining automotive brake lines.

Are there any Advantages to Installing Brake Line Extensions?

Brake line extensions have some advantages as compared to the ordinary brake lines. One advantage is that you are given more freedom to choose what ride height you would want for your car. This is especially true for people who have trucks that are lifted in order to go off-road. These extensions are also usually made of very durable material since they were specifically made to withstand changes in suspension and ride height. This therefore prolongs the life of your brake lines and brake system. They are also usually flexible, following the bounce of your car's suspension. Brake line extensions are able to present these advantages to your automobile set up.

How Much Does the Average Flexible Brake Line Kit Cost?

When repairing flexible brake lines, the whole kit usually costs an average of 60 dollars. For this price, you will get the whole kit. This kit includes 2 twelve-inch stainless brake lines, various fittings, adapters and brake clips. All these should then be installed immediately. If you are unsure as to how to attach these components, it is best if you leave installation to a professional. Hiring a mechanic will set you back an additional 100 to 200 dollars, depending on the type of service you require. Never experiment and compromise your brake system to avoid accidents. These flexible brake lines can then be installed easily by your hired mechanic.

Why is there Air in My Brake Lines?

If there is sometimes air in the brake lines of your car, this is caused by decreasing brake fluid in the master brake cylinder. Since brake fluid runs through the lines when you step on the brakes, a master cylinder almost empty of brake fluid and full of air will pump this air into them. This is what causes your brake pedal to become spongy, and therefore decreases the performance of your brake system. This can be very dangerous, so tend to this immediately. You should always check the brake fluid level and top it up regularly in order to avoid getting air in the brake lines.

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