Removing Brake Lines

  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-75
What You'll Need
Tire iron
Car jacks
Flathead screwdriver
Line wrenches
Lubricating oil spray

If you are replacing the brake lines of your car, it is important to understand how to remove the old ones. By following a few steps, you can ensure that this particular procedure is undertaken safely.

Step 1 – Remove Tire

The first step necessary to enable you to remove the brake lines is to gain sufficient access to them. This can be achieved by removing the tire. Lift the vehicle with the use of car jacks so that it is securely held in place. If there is a hubcap on the wheel, remove it with the help of a screwdriver if necessary. You will then be in a position to use the tire iron to remove the lug nuts that hold the tire in place, using some lubricating oil if necessary. Ensure the head of the tire iron is securely fitted into place before you attempt to turn it.

Step 2 – Assess Braking System

Once the tire is removed, you will be in a better position to examine the braking system properly. If necessary, make use of the vehicle’s instruction manual to help you identify the separate components. The brake lines at the front of a car appear as thin flexible hoses that are connected midway along its length by metal connectors, while rear brake lines are not interrupted in this manner.

Step 3 – Loosen Connectors

Once you are in a position to see it properly, you will find that the brake lines are secure in place with two-sided hexagonal shaped fasteners and the lines that run from them. Before beginning the process of removing them, you should wipe them off with a clean rag to remove any dirt or grime to prevent the risk of it finding its way into the system. Due to the nature of the two-sided connectors, you will need to use two line wrenches at the same time to remove them. Turn them slightly before using a rag to catch the flow of brake fluid that will leak out as the connectors are loosened. Depending on the severity of the flow, it may also be prudent to lay some newspaper below the brake line to catch further drips.

Step 4 – Remove Connectors

After loosening the connectors a small amount with the use of the line wrenches, you will find that you are able to complete the process by hand. This is likely to make the task easier to do than continuing to use the wrenches. Turn the connectors until they are completely disconnected. For rear brakes that are only connected at the ends, the same process can be undertaken at both ends of the brake line.

Step 5 – Remove Brake Line

Once the connecters have been loosened, you will be able to remove the brake line completely. Ensure that they do not get caught up on any other components within the vehicle so that you can pull it free cleanly. You will then be able to install a new brake line.