As a follow-up to my previous entry on how to check your braking components, here are some steps on how to replace worn brake lines. As we’ve discussed in my previous post, when it comes to your braking system, it’s best to conduct repair and part-replacement before the problem worsens. So if you’ve noticed corrosion on your brake lines or if they’ve become rigid and they’re sporting some cracks, then it’s best to start shopping for new brake lines to avoid getting into any accidents.
When buying a new brake line kit, be sure to find one that meets your vehicle’s specifications. If you don’t know what type of kit to get, then a professional mechanic should be able to help you out.
Remember, when it comes to your brakes, it’s best to find a high-quality part as opposed to settling for something cheaper but less dependable. Seriously, now’s not the time for you to scrimp.
That being said, here are some of the materials you’ll need when replacing your brake lines.
- a vehicle jack
- 2 open-end wrenches
- a couple of rags
- some brake fluid
- your replacement brake lines
Note: While you may need to replace just a single line, based from experience (and other people’s experiences as well), it pays to replace your brake lines in pairs. Because when one brake line becomes corroded or damaged, it’s only a matter of time before the other one follows.
Follow these steps to replace your old brake lines easily:
Step #1: Make sure your vehicle is well-supported by your jack stands. I remember discussing in my previous posts that jacking up your vehicle is in no way a light matter. No pun intended, of course. What I mean to say is that since you’re basically going to be “lifting” thousands of pounds using a simple contraption like your jack, it’s always good advice to exercise a lot of caution while you’re doing this. Follow the instructions on your owner’s manual to a tee to prevent any accidents. When jacking up your ride, avoid having any part of your body located under the vehicle. Check to see if you jacked up your car just right.
Step #2: Once you’ve jacked up your vehicle, remove the wheel where the faulty brake lines are located. Removing the wheel is necessary because it naturally gives you access to your brake lines.
Step #3: Set the wheel aside for later.
Step #4: Locate the brake lines. Note how the rubber brake line is attached to stronger metal components? These metal parts are designed to keep your brake lines in place each time you drive. It also connects a couple of metal components where the lines require maximum flexibility. Notice how the connection basically has a couple of hex-shaped fittings? This is where the use of a couple of open-end wrenches comes in.
Note: Before removing your brake lines, check the connections to figure out how to fit your new brake lines together. Use your old connection as a guide on how to replace your brake lines correctly.
Step #5: Loosen the connection of each fitting. Once you do so, excess brake fluid is bound to ooze out, so be sure to have your rags nearby to catch the leak.
Step #6: Clean out the area using your rags.
Step #7: Bring out your replacement brake lines and thread it together to form a sturdy connection. Make sure the connection is tight enough to prevent leaks and brake troubles later.
Step #8: Secure the connection using your wrenches. Once again, check the connections for signs of loose ends. Retighten if there are any.
Step #9: Add brake fluid. To do so, simply prop up your hood and look for the brake master cylinder or brake fluid reservoir. It’s usually near the fire wall and your engine compartment. Do not, by any means, allow water to get into this reservoir. Remove the cap and add more brake fluid. If you’re unsure on what type of brake fluid to use on your vehicle, consult your owner’s manual for helpful recommendations.
Step #10: Replace the cylinder cap.
Step #11: Bleed your brakes.
Step #12: Replace your wheel and lower your vehicle to the ground.
Note: During the next few days, use your brakes carefully. (Translation: refrain from hard-braking.)