Troubleshooting a Front Brake Hose
A problem with the front brake hose can be very dangerous as it can lead to your car not responding when you hit the brake pedal. That’s why it’s important to troubleshoot a problem with your front brake hose as soon as you sense one. Brake hoses are intended to last for the life of your car but that’s not always the case; certain things can happen to them.
Indications that you have problems with a front brake hose can become apparent when you experience a soft pedal while braking. At that point, you need to inspect the master cylinder to check the level of brake fluid. If it’s low, you might have a problem with your front brake hose.
The main cause of front brake hose problems is down to damage with the hose itself. This will usually occur where the metal chassis line meets the rubber front brake hose. Usually, these are held in place by clips. However, these clips are made of plastic and can break or become loose. When that happens, it’s not uncommon for the loose lines to become scraped, chaffed or even pinched by components in the vehicle’s suspension.
To avoid the possibility of brake lines rusting, they’re usually made from metal that’s been galvanized or aluminized. Even these can rust over time, however, and this will cause a leak in your front brake hose. The likeliest point for rust on the line is in the low points of the frame or if a metal clip has been used to attach the line to the frame of the vehicle. The risk of rust happening will be heaviest in climates where the roads are salted for long periods in the winter.
A front brake hose that’s made of rubber can rot over time. It’s manufactured from vulcanized rubber which leaves it susceptible to dry rot. It will become less elastic as it loses chemicals over time and it can eventually crack. Again, salt on the roads can hasten this but it can happen to all cars as they age. Thisis why regular inspection of brake hoses is important. The cracks can lead to loss of brake fluid.
It doesn’t happen often but in older cars, acid can leak from the car battery and land on the front brake hose. This will corrode both metal and rubber hoses even though the acid is diluted. The brake hoses have protective coatings but the acid will break this down and corrosion will then occur.
When you have a problem with a front brake hose, you’ll need to replace it. You should never try to just patch it. When you’re putting in a new line to replace a rubber front brake hose, you should choose hoses that are steel braided. These offer advantages on several fronts. They’re long lasting and designed to offer better braking response than rubber brake hoses. As a bonus, they won’t bulge in the same way a normal front brake hose will. This means they can take more pressure.