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The Importance of Paying Attention to Your Brake Lines

A brake
Your car's brakes include a system of brake hoses and lines that are easy to ignore. But those hoses and lines need regular checks and maintenance just like any other component, or you could end up with problems stopping or even total brake failure. If you haven't looked at your brake lines lately, or you are already experiencing some braking problems, then here are some things you should know.

Basics of the Hydraulic Braking System

Modern cars are equipped with a two-part hydraulic braking system governed by a master cylinder. The system is split in two so that if one half of the system experiences failure, there will likely still be braking power in the other. A mechanical emergency brake is provided in case of total hydraulic system failure.

In addition to the master cylinder, a series of brake lines are connected to the calipers or wheel cylinders that supply brake fluid and pressure when the brakes are applied.

Types and Functions of Brake Lines

There are two main types of brake lines: solid metal and flexible rubber. Most of the brake lines are of the metal type and are positioned close to your car's underside as they trail from the master cylinder towards each wheel. The flexible rubber brake lines are located near the wheels to allow the wheels to turn and absorb road bumps without ripping the braking system open.

Ways Brake Lines Break Down

The ways that brake lines wear down depend on whether they are the rigid metal or flexible rubber lines.

Rigid Metal Line Problems

The rigid metal lines rarely have a problem and usually don't require a lot of upkeep. However, they can suffer from rust from water and road salt as well as clogs. Metal lines can also become loose, broken, or kinked, which can cause serious braking problems.

Flexible Line Problems

The soft, flexible rubber lines near the wheel are more likely to wear down and leak than metal ones. While rubber has proven itself to be durable, it does break down, mainly from the inside out. This can lead to their walls weakening and bulging, which would diminish braking pressure. They can also flat out break or split without warning.

Symptoms of Bad Brake Lines

Three main symptoms may indicate that you might have a bad brake line.

Your Brake Warning Light Is On

If your car is fairly new, then it should have sensors to monitor your fluid or brake pad levels. When the fluid in the master cylinder gets low enough, it could trigger this warning light on your dashboard.

You Can See Leaks

A well-maintained car should not have any leaks, especially ones around any of the wheels, which is where worn rubber brake lines are most likely to leak. Brake fluid is generally clear, but oily, and has a mild oily scent. Even if you don't see an actual puddle or drops of brake fluid, you may see wet patches on the lines. For metal lines, you're likely to see a rust spot in addition to fluid around the area.

Your Brake Pedal Feels Soft

A sure sign that you have a hydraulic braking system problem is that your pedal feels spongy when you step on it. This is a sign that there is air in the system when it should be completely sealed. In some cases, if you lose all your fluid or pressure, your pedal may go completely down to the floor and you will lose all braking pressure.

The good news is that if you regularly take your car into the shop for service, then these brake lines can easily be inspected, repaired, and replaced before any serious problems occur. Here at Redford Auto Repair, we can inspect and repair your entire braking system whether you are having a problem or you just need routine maintenance. Call or visit us to have your vehicle checked out.


Detroit Location
20335 W. 8 Mile Road
Detroit, MI 48219
GOODYEAR Authorized Dealer

Phone: 313-537-5544

20201 W. 8 Mile Road
Detroit, MI 48219

Phone: 313-537-3190
Redford Location
9565 Telegraph Road
Redford, MI 48239
GOODYEAR Authorized Dealer

Phone: 313-450-1485

25800 W. 7 Mile Rozd
Redford, MI 48240
GOODYEAR Authorized Dealer

Phone: 313-948-3929
Garden City Location
32121 Ford Road
Garden City, MI 48135

Phone: 734-237-4344

Redford Auto Repair and Collision
18645 West 8 Mile
Detriot, MI 48219

Phone: 313-777-1111
Taylor Location
8440 Telegraph Road
Taylor, MI 48180

Phone: 313-768-5694

Redford Auto Repair
27417 West 5 Mile

Phone: 734-744-6560
Westland Location
7666 Wayne Road
Westland, MI 48185
GOODYEAR Authorized Dealer

Phone: 734-407-8100
Southfield Location
Southfield Imports
21990 W. 8 Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48075

Phone: 248-352-0553

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