How to Repair a Brake Line

Suketu Mehta Nov 3, 2018
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Often, the brake line in a vehicle tends to become faulty, or gets rusted, and needs replacement. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to repair brake lines.
You use brakes to stop your car whenever and wherever you wish to. However, there comes a time when they stop functioning, or you need to press the pedal real hard for them to have any effect. Lack of brake fluid or a problem with the brake line may cause such malfunction. In case of the latter, you need a brake line repair to solve the problem.
Brake lines are responsible for the traveling of brake fluids from the master cylinder to the wheels. Cracking, corrosion, or rusting, are some of the common brake line problems.
Constant wear and tear, or friction of the brakes with any metal objects, can cause rusting of the line. You may choose to replace the whole brake line, or just a part of it. However, it is always better to replace it entirely so that you don't face the same problem again and again.

Tools Required

You would need the following tools for repairing your brake line:

  • New brake lines
  • Brake Fluid
  • Compression kit
  • Tubing Cutter
  • Set of normal wrenches and line wrenches
  • Penetrant
  • Support Stands
  • Tape measure

How to Repair Brake Line?

Once you have gathered all the tools, it is time to start the procedure.
1. Check the extent of rust. If the whole brake line is rusted, you will have to replace it. In such a case, soak the fittings, which you wish to remove, in penetrant.

2. Unscrew the brackets which are holding the brake line on to the frame, using a ratchet.
3. If you are replacing only a part of the brake line, cut out the section with a tubing cutter, and remove the brake line with the help of line wrenches.
4. Once you remove the rusted brake line, you need to check the size of your new brake line. Place both the brake lines one beside the other, and ensure that the lengths are equal. Make similar bends on the new one, using a tube bender.
5. After matching the new brake line with the old one in terms of its size and bends, you will have to fix the new one in the car. Tighten the fittings using line wrenches.

6. Using a tubing cutter, cut out any extra brake lines.
7. The compression kit consists of two ferrules, two end caps with a hole in the middle, and a center tube. At one end, fix the end cap, and at the other end, fix the ferrule.
8. Now hold the brake line in one hand, with the center tube in the other. Take the brake line and press it hard into the center tube, locking it with the end cap. Using a wrench, tighten the end cap.
9. Push the new break line into the old one, drawing it on the barrel extremely tight. Repeat the same for the other side.
10. Now, you need to bleed the brakes, to remove any air from the brake line. For this, ensure that brake fluid is completely filled in the master cylinder reservoir. Loosen the brake bleeder screw on any one of the wheels.
11. Ask someone to sit in the car, start it, and hold the brake pedal completely down. Hold it down till all the air is gone and brake fluid starts coming out from the brake line. Do this for all the four wheels, and refill the master cylinder with brake fluid.
For your assistance, brake line repair kits are also available in the market. These kits consist of all that you need, including brake pads, brake lining, and brake rotors. Buy proper branded kits, as you would not want to use sub-standardized parts for your car.
The repair cost comes out to be anywhere between $150 and $200, depending upon your car. The parts are not that expensive, and it's a 1-2 hour job at the most. It is advised that if you have no prior experience in repairing a car, or are not well-versed with its mechanism, take it to a mechanic.