You should inspect your brakes before the snow starts falling this winter. Brake lines are made out of steel, which can rust and break after years of usage. Salt on the roads during the winter can make the lines deteriorate even further and can lead to brake failure while you are driving. To protect yourself, you should check the condition of the brake lines to see if they need to be replaced. Here is how to inspect and replace old and worn brake lines.
You Will Need:
- New Brake Line
- Jack Stands
- Ratchet Set
- Wrench Set
- Catch Basin
Brake Line Inspection
Raise one side of the car with a jack and put jack stands by the front and rear wheels to safely hold the car up in the air. Take the front and back tires off so you can visually inspect the connection of the brakes lines to the brake calipers on the rotors. The rotors are the shiny round metal discs on the axle directly behind the tires. Look for leaks and deterioration around the connection points.
The back brake lines typically run under the chassis on both sides of the car until they reach the master brake cylinder in the engine block of the car. The main brake cylinder is typically located on the driver side of the car above the front wheel well.
The front brake lines run from the caliper on the front rotors, through the engine block, until they reach the master cylinder.
Start at the point where the brake lines are connected to the brake cylinders on the rotors and follow them until you get to the master cylinder. Look for leaks, and excessive rust and corrosion on the brake lines. Replace all the brake lines that are worn out.
Brake Line Replacement
- Disconnect the brake line from the brake cylinder on the rotor.
- Drop the end of the brake line into a catch basin.
- Disconnect the other end of the line from the master cylinder.
- Allow the brake fluid to drain into the catch basin.
- Unhook the clasps holding the brake line to the bottom of the chassis and inside the engine compartment.
- Pull the brake line out from underneath the car.
- Snake the new brake line through the chassis and engine compartment in the same way the old one was placed, and reconnect the clasps to the new line.
- Connect one end of the brake line to the cylinder on the rotor, and the other end to the master cylinder.
- Open up the bleed valve on the brake cylinder on the rotor (this is a little nut that's on the top of the brake cylinder).
- Fill up the reservoir on the master cylinder with brake fluid.
- Have someone pump the brake pedal in the car until you see fluid leaking out of the bleed valve
- Immediately close the valve once brake fluid appears.
Repeat this process for any other brake lines that need replacing. If you need more help, visit a brake service like Buettner Tire & Auto.