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What is a brake line?

car brake hose

The brake line, also called the brake hose, is a part of your car's braking system. It is a flexible hose that is usually made from rubber or plastic. The brake line can also come in a stronger, steel-braided edition for bigger cars, which is more efficient and will last longer.

There are usually four brake hoses in your car, one for each wheel. They are located right by the wheels, connecting the brake pipes that run throughout the car to each wheel. The four hoses allows the brake fluid from the end of the brake pipes into the brake caliper attached to each of the brake discs. On drum brakes, the brake line is attached to the wheel cylinder. This allows for the transmission of the hydraulic pressure generated by the driver when they push the brake pedal. Once the brake fluid reaches the brake caliper, the pressure will push the brake pads against the brake discs, which will stop wheel movement, and, ultimately, stop the car. As the brake lines are essential for your braking system, they need to be checked on a regular basis.

When to change a brake line?

Over time, the brake lines of your braking system can be worn down because of temperature damage or simply from general wear and tear over a long period of time. To know if the brake lines should be replaced, you should have them checked regularly - when changing tyres for example. If the brake lines are worn, it can create leaks as the brake fluid runs through the lines, and the hydraulic pressure won’t be transmitted to the brake caliper or wheel cylinder. This will cause braking faults, such as an increase in your car’s braking distance, which is dangerous.

Symptoms of failing brake lines

Several signs can indicate that a brake line in your car is failing or damaged.

  • The most common sign is leakage of brake fluid, which can happen when the brake line is worn or damaged.
  • You might also notice that the braking distance has increased.
  • When you brake last minute, your car skids or you can feel the brake pedal vibrating.

How to change a brake line

Brake lines are usually replaced in pairs. Before starting the replacement procedure, the car should be lifted from the ground, and the wheels should be removed as they are placed in front of the brake lines. The hose should be detached from either the caliper or wheel cylinder so that it hangs loose.

In order to not lose too much brake fluid, we advise that you place a container below the brake line location. When you unmount the brake lines from the pipes, some brake fluid will run out.

When everything is ready, you can disconnect the line from the brake pipe sitting behind it. You start by detaching the hose from the iron or copper pipe. Then, install the new brake line by attaching it first to the brake pipe, and then to the brake caliper once you're ready to put the wheel back.

To make sure your brake lines are changed properly, it is advisable to get a mechanic to perform the replacement. Are you wondering how much you should pay to fix or replace a brake line? Receive quotes on and compare prices.

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Prices on a brake repair

The average prices and savings for the car brands shown are based on different models and years. You must therefore create a job and compare quotes to see your actual price and savings.
Make Compare and save* You save on average* Ratings
Audi £96 23%
4.8 (16)
BMW £116 24%
4.7 (33)
Ford £80 27%
4.7 (24)
Hyundai £103 31%
4.9 (9)
Mercedes-Benz £96 25%
4.6 (18)
Nissan £70 26%
4.9 (8)
Peugeot £64 26%
4.9 (9)
Toyota £80 32%
4.8 (4)
Vauxhall £73 25%
4.9 (15)
Volkswagen £86 26%
4.6 (15)

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