It's no secret that brakes are an essential part of any vehicle. Not only are they necessary for stopping, but also for keeping your car in control while driving. That's why ensuring your brake lines are always in good condition is vital.
If you notice that your brakes aren't performing as well as they should, or if you have any other concerns about them, it's time to replace the brake lines. But how long does it take to replace brake lines? And what should you expect along the way? Keep reading to find out!
How Long Does It Take to Replace Brake Lines?
Generally speaking, it shouldn't take more than a few hours to replace car brake lines. However, the exact amount of time will depend on the make and model of your car, as well as the severity of the damage. If you're dealing with a simple repair, such as a small leak, you can probably get away with doing it yourself in 1 hour or 2.
But you'll need to take your car to a professional mechanic if you're dealing with more severe damage, such as a ruptured line. He may take 2 to 3 hours to complete the job.
What You Need to Know Before Replacing Brake Lines
Before you start replacing brake lines, there are a few things you need to know.
First and foremost, brake line replacement is not a job for beginners. If you've never worked on brakes before, it's best to leave this one to the professionals. Not only is it a difficult job, but it's also hazardous. Improper brake line replacement can lead to brake failure, resulting in an accident.
Secondly, you must ensure the right tools and materials to repair busted brake lines. It includes a brake line wrench set, new brake lines, and other hand tools. You'll also need to bleed the brakes after the cables are replaced. It is a vital step in removing any air from the brake system. Without bleeding the brakes, your car won't be able to stop properly.
Signs of a Failing Brake Lines
Several signs indicate brake line failure. Likewise:
Leakage of Brake Fluid
The most obvious sign of a problem is leakage of brake fluid. If you notice a puddle of brake oil under your car, it's a good indication that one or more of the lines is damaged. Moreover, if the brake fluid level in the reservoir is low, it's another sign of a leak somewhere in the system.
Soft or Spongy Brake Pedal
If you press the brake pedal and it feels soft or spongy, it's a sign that air has gotten into the system. It can happen if there's a leak in one of the lines. When the air enters the system, it prevents the brakes from functioning correctly. As a result, you'll have to press the pedal more complicated to get the same stopping power.
Vibrations When Braking
If you feel vibrations in the steering wheel or brake pedal when braking, it's a sign that the rotors are warped. However, if a soft or spongy brake pedal accompanies the vibration, it's a sign of a problem with the car brake lines or damaged brake pads.
Brake Warning Light is On
If the brake warning light is on, there's a problem with the braking system. It could be a variety of things, but if any other symptoms accompany the light on this list, it's likely a problem with a faulty brake line.
How to Replace a Brake Line? (Step by Step)
Ready to replace a brake line? Here's what you need to do:
Jack up the Car and Remove the Wheels
First, you need to jack up the car and remove the wheels. This will give you access to the brake lines.
Locate the Damaged Line
Once the wheels are off, locate the damaged line. You may need to clean away some dirt and grime to get a good look at it. Once you've found the problem, mark it with a piece of tape to know which one to replace.
Remove the Old Line
Next, use a wrench to loosen the fittings on either end of the old line. Once the fittings are loose, pull the old brake pipe out and discard it.
Install the New Line
Now it's time to install the new line. First, slip one end of the new line over the fitting on the brake caliper. Then, thread the other end of the line through the bracket on the frame. Once the new line is in place, tighten the fittings on either end.
Bleed the Brakes
The last step is to bleed the brakes. This removes any air from the system and ensures that your brakes will work properly. To get air out the brakes, you'll need a helper. Have one person depress the brake pedal while you open the bleeder valve. Once brake fluid flows out, close the valve and have your helper release the pedal.
Test Drive the Car
It's time for a test drive once you've replaced the line and bled the brakes. Drive around the block a few times to ensure the brakes are working correctly. If they feel soft or spongy, you may need to bleed them again.
And that's it! You've successfully replaced a brake line.
How Many Brake Lines Are on a Car?
Most cars have four brake lines: 2 front brake lines & 2 rear brake lines. However, some vehicles may have more or less depending on the design of the braking system.
Can I Drive with a Broken Brake Line?
No, you should not drive with a broken brake line. This is because the brakes won't be able to function correctly, which could lead to an accident. Also, driving with a broken brake line can cause further damage to the system, which will be expensive to repair.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace All Brake Lines?
On average, all brake lines replacement cost between $1000 to $1500. This price includes the cost of parts and labor. Brake line repair costs will be lower if you only need to replace one or two lines.
Can You Replace Just One Brake Line?
Yes, you can replace just one brake line if that's all that's damaged. However, it's recommended to replace all the brake lines simultaneously. This is because they are all subject to the same wear and tear and probably need to be replaced around the same time.
How Often Do Brake Lines Fail?
Brake lines typically last around 5 to 10 years. However, they may fail sooner if they are damaged or corroded.
In conclusion, it's essential to know the signs of bad brake lines. If you notice any symptoms on this list, it's time to replace the brake line.
But remember, fixing brake lines is not a job for the faint of heart. But if you're up for the challenge, it's important to know what you're getting into before you start. With some knowledge and preparation, you can get the job done quickly and safely. And once you're finished, you'll be able to rest assured knowing that your brakes are in good working order.