How a Car Brake Line Works

Without functioning brakes, a car would be a giant metal hunk of danger. A multiple ton machine flying down the road without the ability to stop would be a nightmare. That is why your car brake line is so crucial.

A brake line is the part of your car that communicates between your brake pedal and the brake caliper. It utilizes brake fluid to transfer pressure through brake pump. That pressure is strong enough to engage the brake calipers and slow your car. Since brake fluid cannot be compressed, a simple press of the brake pedal can force your car to stop on a dime at road speeds – all thanks to the brake line.

Where is the Brake Line?

This important part can be found underneath your car reaching to all four wheels. The brake fluid reservoir and brake pump are located in the engine bay, which connect to the beginning of the brake line. From here a hose connects to each of the wheels on the car in order to engage each caliper.

The main connection from the brake line to the brake rack can be found behind the engine when you open your hood. If you need to access the individual brake line at the tire, you will need to get underneath or lift the car.

Symptoms of a Bad Brake Line

The reasons for a failing break line are similar to the other problems components of your brake system have. The most common sign of a brake issue will be the brake light on your dashboard. If it detects an issue like low brake fluid or poor connection, it will let you know.

Leaking brake fluid is another common issue for drivers with older cars. As the equipment in your car ages it will naturally deteriorate. Eventually, a gasket will weaken or break and cause a leak of brake fluid. If any part of the brake line itself is leaking, it is very important to get this fixed as soon as possible. You don’t want to be driving with a failing brake system.

The worst problem for your brake line is also the most obvious. If you press your brake pedal to the ground and feel no resistance, then there’s chance the brake line is compromised. The reason your brake is so firm is because of the hydraulic pressure inside of your brake lines. So make sure this isn’t a problem for you.

Brake Line Replacement Cost

If you notice that your brake line is leaking, or even broken and frayed, then you will need to get it replaced in order to drive the car again. To do so, you will either need about a dozen mechanic tools, or you’ll have to actually go to the autobody shop.

If you were to do it yourself, replacing the brake line would require lifting the car and removing the line that is leaking or broken. Keep a rag handy for when brake fluid falls out. From here, you would take your new line and flare the end you will be attaching to the caliper. The master cylinder or brake fluid reservoir will also need to be flared if that part is being replaced. Lastly you would secure the line and begin pouring in your new break fluid, while also removing all air from the brake line hose.

The cost to replace a brake line at a mechanic will run you around $200. The parts themselves in fact are not that pricey, but the labor required to lift the car is what makes it pricey.