Your brakes are the most important safety feature on your car and brake line replacement is essential if they become worn or damaged. You need to be aware of any brake problems before they result in an accident. A soft pedal or a parking brake that slips are usually the first signs of trouble. Since your brakes are so important to the safe operation of your vehicle, you should only replace the brake lines if you are a confident mechanic. Even the most confident of mechanics should keep the following tips in mind when changing their brake lines.
It’s always dangerous any time you get under a vehicle. Before you start working on your brake lines make sure the vehicle is properly supported. If you are lucky enough to have access to a hoist, use it. For brake line repairs at home, ensure that the vehicle is stable on its ramps, and block the wheels on the ground so the car won’t roll on you. Since brake fluid is very slippery, have a bucket or pan ready to catch brake fluid, as well as a bunch of rags to clean up any spills.
Replace the Whole Line
Replacing only a section of your brake line is only a temporary fix and is asking for problems. If you see a bulge or rust on part of your brake line, these problems could be hiding beneath the surface along the rest of the line. Putting joints in your brake line, no matter how well you do the job, is giving more points where brake fluid can leak out, leaving you unable to stop. Replacing the whole line is also easier, as you can attach each end to the factory installed mounts.
Replace in Pairs
Your brake lines were installed at the same time when your vehicle was built, so chances are they will all need replacing at the same time. Replacing all brake lines will also mean that you’ll do a better job. You will fix any mistakes on the second brake line, and you will also have the chance to go back and fix problems you discover when replacing the second line. You will also find that you replace the second line a lot faster than the first because you have a better idea of what you are doing.
Not only do stainless steel brake lines look better, but they will also actually hold up a lot longer than rubber brake lines. Rubber brake lines have a tendency to bulge over time, making your brake pedal soft and less effective. Stainless steel tubes will ensure constant brake fluid pressure. You can pick up stainless steel brake lines at any auto parts and accessories store.
Keep It Clean
Clean the areas around brake line mounts before you start removing the old brake lines. This will keep corrosive materials and grit that can block your brake line from getting in your new brake lines. Having the brake line mounts clean will also make attaching your new brake lines easier.
The final step in brake line replacement, bleeding air out of the brake fluid is important. Fill the brake fluid reservoir in the engine compartment then use a hand-pump vacuum at the bleed valve to pull the brake fluid through the lines. Getting air out of the brake lines will ensure you stop every time you put your foot on the brake.