Have you spotted a puddle of brake fluid under your car? Or is your brake light glowing, and you’ve noticed an unusual level of unresponsiveness in your brakes?
You know that something’s wrong with your brakes, but what could it be?
The braking system is an incredibly vital component of your car. If there are issues with the brakes, it’s best to get them checked ASAP.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, chances are you’re facing a brake line issue, and you’re going to need a brake line replacement.
The brake line is a steel line that plays a crucial role in the functioning of the entire braking system.
Here’s a breakdown of how your brake system works:
When you press down on the brake pedal, it transmits pressure to the master cylinder, which then forces brake fluid along the brake line (also known as a brake pipe or brake tubing).
The fluid then travels to the cylinders located at each wheel, engaging the braking mechanism.
The caliper and brake pads will then squeeze the brake rotor to a stop.
If your car uses drum brakes (that don’t use brake rotors), the wheel cylinder activates your brake shoes to slow the wheel.
What about the brake hose? Is it the same thing as your metal brake line?
The steel brake line is a rigid pipe – a lot like fuel lines and connected to your fuel tank.
On the other hand, the brake hose is typically a rubber hose that connects the hard brake line to your brake’s moving parts like the brake caliper.
Rubber brake lines are flexible as they move with the wheel suspension. Sometimes, instead of rubber lines, you’ll even find a flexible stainless steel braided hose instead. These supple stainless steel lines are more durable than the rubber hose – helping you avoid replacing them too often.
Brake failure can occur due to various reasons — with a broken brake line being one of the potential causes.
When your brake line is damaged, the hydraulics won’t function as the brake fluid can’t reach the tire’s braking mechanism.
To prevent complete brake failure from happening, most brake systems have two separate circuits – creating a split braking system.
The circuits can be either:
- Front/rear: One set of brake lines controls the front brakes, and the second set controls rear brakes.
- Diagonal: One set of brake lines controls the right-front and left-rear brakes, and the second set controls the left-front and right-rear brakes.
This way, if one brake line blows, you’ll still have another functioning line.
Let’s say your rear brake line fails in a front – rear configuration — the back of your car will jump when you brake because the rear brake isn’t working, and you’ll start to skid. Fortunately, as your front brakes still work, you should still be able to bring the car to a halt.