Car and Truck Brake Lines

Brake lines are long metal or rubber tubings that serve as the critical infrastructure for the brake system in almost all types of vehicles. If you are experiencing problems with the brake lines in your car or truck, then these replacement lines can help you fix it.

How do the brake lines work?

The brake system slows down the speed of the automobile by converting the pressure on the brake pedal into pressure and friction on the wheels. Most cars and trucks use a hydraulic braking system. When you press your foot down on the brake pedal, it forces the hydraulic fluid to flow from the master cylinder to the brake calipers near the wheel. The brake calipers then clamp down on the brake rotors to decelerate your automobile. The hydraulic fluid flows through the brake lines to the wheels. The principle works the same in nearly all types of cars and trucks.

When should you replace brake lines?

Brake lines are durable, but they do not last forever. They may wear down or corrode because of extended use, exposure to the elements, or constant friction against the metal parts of the automobile. Another potential problem is that those lines swell up, which can decrease the pressure of the brakes and impact the performance. If any of the lines have worn down, you may notice leaking brake fluid, or the brake warning light may turn on. You should replace or repair the lines immediately.

What kinds of materials are brake lines made from?

Most lines are made of either stainless steel or rubber. Pure steel lines are more resistant to swelling and damage. Steel material tends to be more common in off-road and performance automobiles that need the extra durability and toughness to endure harsh conditions. The rubber material, which is used by almost all cars right out of the factory, is flexible and resistant to corrosion but less suitable for high-performance applications.

The third type of line, known as a steel-braided line, is a standard line wrapped around a steel mesh. It is more durable than rubber but not quite as durable steel. Other less common types of lines are made from carbon fiber, copper-nickel, Teflon, or Kevlar for additional strength and performance.

What should you consider when getting new brake lines?

One of the most important factors to consider is what kind of car or truck you own. Vehicles with modified or high-performance engines would benefit the most from an extensive upgrade of the braking system, from the lines to the rotors. If your car or truck is regularly used for racing, towing heavy equipment, going off-road, or other high-performance applications, then you would likely benefit from strong lines. If you are merely using your car or truck to travel or commute, then the standard rubber lines should be sufficient. As always, you should check to make sure that the replacement part is compatible with the make, model, and year of your car or truck.