4 Brake Hose FAQs
Here’re answers to some common brake hose questions you might have:
1. What Is A Brake Hose?
A brake hose is a flexible tubing or pipe connected to the brake line. It delivers brake fluid from your vehicle’s master cylinder to the wheel cylinder (in drum brakes) or brake caliper (in disc brakes).
How does it work?
The brake system of your vehicle uses hydraulic pressure to apply brakes.
When you press down on the brake pedal, brake fluid is pushed from the master cylinder and travels through a strong, durable steel line. But as the fluid nears the wheel, something more flexible than metal brake lines is required as the wheel is a moving part.
That’s where a brake hose comes in handy.
A hydraulic brake hose links the metal line (brake lines) to the brake caliper piston or wheel cylinder.
The brake hose is usually available in two types:
- Rubber brake hose
- Stainless steel brake hose
A rubber hose can withstand the movements of your wheel and the vibration of your vehicle’s chassis. This flexible brake hose is also designed to endure extreme hydraulic pressure and heat.
On the other hand, a stainless steel hose is a flexible but hard line that offers superior durability and can withstand expansion under high pressures.
However, in both cases, dust and dirt can eat away at the tubing over time, causing it to leak.
2. What Causes Brake Hose Damage?
Prolonged or heavy-duty use of your brakes will wear down brake parts, including the flexible tubing of your brake hoses. This increases the chances of brake fluid leaks, reducing the braking power of your vehicle.
Before the problem escalates, it’s best to hire an auto repair professional to get your brake hoses inspected for:
- Cracks or flaking
- Corrosion (rust)
- Broken torque stripe
- Hanging threads
Based on the extent of visible damages, a mechanic may suggest going for a brake line repair or brake hose replacement.
3. When Should I Replace A Brake Hose?
The brake hose can usually last for several years. However, it may get damaged earlier too, depending on factors like:
- Driving habits
- Road conditions
- Hose material
- Hose manufacturer
- Vehicle maintenance frequency
It’s recommended to have your vehicle inspected at your dealership every two years to detect any brake hose issues before they turn severe. Proactive vehicle maintenance will help prolong the life of your brake hoses.
4. How To Replace A Brake Hose? (Step-By-Step)
Brake hose replacement requires the right technical know-how.
If you’re unsure of the process, it’s best to call a certified mechanic who can perform the brake hose replacement for you.
But if you prefer DIYs and wish to install a new brake hose yourself, here’re the steps to replace a brake hose:
- Engage the parking brake and raise your vehicle on a jack stand.
- Remove the wheel to access the brake hose assembly.
- Ensure that there’s enough brake fluid in the reservoir to prevent air from entering the brake system.
- Take a flare wrench (line wrench) to unscrew the top fitting of your flexible hose tubing. Avoid using an open-end wrench as it could round off the connections.
- Use some penetrating oil if the connection is covered with rust. However, don’t disconnect the tubing from the line yet.
- Next, use the flare wrench to crack open the hose connection (banjo bolt) going into the brake caliper or wheel cylinder via the brake line.
- Use pliers to remove the mounting bracket clip and disconnect the brake hose from the top fitting. Place a drain pan underneath to collect any fluid.
- Next, remove the tubing from the steel line going into the brake caliper. Ensure you have your safety glasses on as the brake fluid can spill around.
- Install and connect the new hose kit to the brake caliper and the top connection. Tap in the mounting bracket clip using a hammer.
- Check your brake fluid level in the reservoir to see if you’ve got enough.
- Bleed your vehicle’s hydraulic brakes through the bleeder valve to remove any air in your brake lines.
- Before you reinstall the wheel, press your brake pedal several times to ensure no leaks from your brake line fittings.
- Set the wheel back on the car, remove the jack stand, and release the parking brake.
- Test drive your vehicle to ensure that the replacement brake hose and brake system are working as expected.