Is the brake line of your vehicle faulty? Are you wondering how much brake line replacement costs? When you are done reading this article, you will have all the answers you need and more.
If the brake line of your vehicle is faulty, you should always attend to it to avoid harm to yourself and others.
This article explains how much will be spent repairing a faulty brake line, how the brake line works, what you need to know to tell if you need a new brake line, the steps for changing your brake line, and FAQs to answer any related questions you might have.
How Much Does Brake Line Replacement Cost?
On average, brake line replacement will cost you between $250 and $500 per brake line. There are two components to this cost range: labor, which runs from $40 to $50, and parts, which run between $150 and $275. The brake lines on a vehicle need to be replaced after 100,000 miles on average.
Remember, the type of your car will affect the cost of auto repair; this includes replacing the brake line. Also, the price will be affected by the particular brake line that has to be changed.
A good example is, changing a rubber line found in a brake caliper, into a stern brake line that is metal beneath the car will not cost the same amount as changing a rigid line that runs the height of a car.
Ordinarily, the repair bill will be between $150 to $300 for one to change the brake line in their vehicle. This begs the question, “How much will be spent on buying the brake line?” The line is sold for $50.
Hence, it is all other stages that increase the price of labor. First, a new line is used to replace the old line. Then a mechanic removes air found in the brake system that went in during the earlier replacement period.
This happens within hours. Labor is calculated per hour, between $75 – $100, whereas changing the brake line will cost around $150.
Also Read: 9 Bad Brake Booster Symptoms (& Replacement Cost)
Brake Line Replacement Pricing Factors
The price for changing the brake lines depends on things like the number of brake lines that need to be changed simultaneously, the kind of brake hose, needed fittings, and the price of labor.
The price normally maps to the model of a vehicle and the vehicle itself.
1. The Brake Lines
The price of a brake line can consequentially differ. This is because brake lines appear in various materials, from generic brands to the original manufacturer, then high-performance models. The least expensive brake line is the universal part, sold at ($6) six dollars per line.
A mechanic will change brake hoses into a pair of two, and then you will pay ($12) twelve dollars for parts. In contrast, you can spend $189 on OEM brake lines. Hence, examine materials, suitable materials, and warranties on the line.
It is good that you consider your environment, because of a couple of reasons. For instance, the braided steel brake line is more expensive and lasts longer. Such brake line is better kept on a dry surface or place. The reason is that it can rust in a wet place.
If your mechanic does not recommend a new material, you should use the same as the previously used material while making a purchase.
There exists a difference between the various types of parts. Usually, the reference is on quality. Other times, it is on who molds the parts.
In a state of uncertainty, seek for recommendation from your mechanic. However, the majority of the parts are bound to be sold with warranties. Also, in most cases, brake lines are of a Global sound quality built to suit parts or areas.
2. Cost of Labor
The amount spent on labor is mostly half, if not more than the amount spent on changing brake lines.
What is expected of you is to make payment for an hour for the following to be done: drainage of brake fluid, change the pair(s) of brake lines, fix (new) another brake lines, refill the systems, and finally bleed(remove air from) the brakes. There are times when your mechanic will spend extra time on the job.
Furthermore, you are expected to pay a “garage fee” or “shop fee.” It is calculated in the range between (5-20%) five to twenty percent of the total fee.
Particularly, a good number of mechanics will charge an estimate of $60 when they own a shop. On the other hand, national chains are about ($95) ninety-five dollars per hour. So you will likely pay about $60 to $200 for the shop fee and labor cost.
Bleeding brakes is usually difficult, but you will benefit more if you can do it on your own. You will save money.
3. New Brake Fluid
Although you are advised to flush your brake fluid after changing your brake lines, you can decide not to.
Most importantly, bleeding the brake lines is mandatory after changing the lines. It removes soiled brake fluid and lets air out of the system.
Therefore, you must purchase another brake fluid to add to the system. You should know that it costs between $6 to $30. The price depends on the performance type and model.
Also Read: How Much Brake Fluid Do I Need?
4. Other Parts
It is undoubtedly good to change your brake lines when needed, but also, you should examine every other part of your brake system and then change what needs to be changed.
This strategy helps you reduce the time you spend on shop fees, purchase other brake fluids and dismantle the system. It is best to go for a complete brake inspection, especially if it has been a long time since you changed the shoes or calipers.
This implies that you will be spending about $300 to $500 at the same time. The good thing is that you will have a safe vehicle for a reasonable time. Let us say, two years or so.
What Is a Brake Line, and How Does It Work?
Brake lines are a part of the vehicle that carries its brake fluid from the master cylinder down to its brake calipers. This is how it works: the line moves from a master cylinder straight under the vehicle to a rotor on every wheel.
These moving lines are stern metal lines seen to be built of steel. Even though some vehicles now have stainless steel lines. The stern metal line is joined to the rubber hose line once the lines reach the general part of the wheel. This rubber enables flexibility so that the wheels can turn and spin.
Note that the rubber brake lines are different from any rubber. Here, we are talking about one which can hold up to one thousand (1,000) psi!
What the brake lines and hoses do is that it lets hydraulic pressure bring the vehicle to a stop. Once you step on the brake pedal, a piston found in its master cylinder becomes compressed.
It further pushes brake fluid into the brake lines. While the brake fluids are being pushed inside its lines, the pressure builds up, making the piston in the brake caliper compress your brake pads against the rotors. As this occurs, your car gradually slows down and stops.
There is a similarity with how the drum brakes work, but the fluid makes brake shoes press against the inner of its drums.
Note that the aforementioned process will not be possible if the brake lines fail to hold pressure.
How Long Do Brake Hoses or Lines Last?
Hoses and brake lines last for a long time. Most times, the lines found on a car last for (100,000) hundred thousand miles. For most people, their cars can last for years without needing to replace the brake lines. This is because the rubber lines become worn out faster than a metal line.
In a matter of time, the line becomes brittle and hard. Then it may rupture and grow a vacuum that will not allow fluid to pass through. If you stay in an environment that opens vehicles to salt, your steel brake lines will easily become rusted and give room for other debris.
It can further put debris inside the calipers and negatively affect the anti-lock braking system. You will realize it immediately because when there is a failed brake line, you will lose the braking power. You are expected to take your car straight to a mechanic.
What Happens if Your Brake Lines Are Damaged?
Broken(shattered) brake lines are among the major causes of brake failure.
The hydraulics will stop functioning when the brake line fails because your brake fluid will not reach the tire’s braking mechanism.
To avoid total brake failure, most brake systems possess two different circuits- providing a divided braking system.
The circuits are in these forms:
- Rear/Front: The first brake line regulates the car’s front, while the second one regulates the rear brakes.
- Diagonal: The first set regulates the left-rear and right-front brakes, whereas the second one regulates the right-rear and left-front brakes.
Therefore, the other one will still function when a brake line explodes.
If the rear brake lines blow, it will cause the back of the car to jump as you brake. Luckily, the front brake is still functional and will help you make the car halt. Sadly if both of them fail, you cannot bring your car to a halt.
Also Read: New Brakes Squeaking (6 Causes and Solutions)
How To Tell When You Need Brake Line Replacement
Although brake lines are made to last as long as the car, the case is usually different.
Below are frequent warning signs you should look out for in a defective brake system:
1. Reduction In Braking Power
A good sign is when you have difficulty putting your car to a halt or your brakes are not working properly.
Note: it can be due to worn-out brake pads or issues with its hydraulic components. An example is a master cylinder. Make sure to take your vehicle to a standard mechanic to know the actual problem.
2. The Brake Light Comes On
If a brake warning light comes on, it can mean either of these two. There is either low brake fluid in your master cylinder, or your parking brake is occupied.
In numerous cases, little brake fluid shows a failed brake line.
3. You Notice Brake Fluid Leakage
You will see the brake fluid on the floor if there is a brake fluid leak. New (brand) brake fluid is transparent yellow, and it subsequently turns brown when it breaks down. Therefore, you are advised to frequently check the brake fluid reservoir level.
4. There’s Brake Line Damage
When you notice physical damage, such as cracks on the brake lines or metal corrosion, you will know it is time to repair the damage. Also, a brake can rust if a car is not driven for a long period. Brake lines also rust easily when you drive in snowy areas.
How to Replace Brake Lines
You can easily change your brake lines by yourself. You will have to get a brake line wrench (special flanged wrench. It is sold in auto parts shops, in case you do not have one.
Remember, bleeding the brakes is necessary after the above steps, or let a mechanic do so. It can be done using a turkey baster or small pump.
Things You’ll Need:
- New brake lines
- Floor jack plus jack stands
- Replacement brake fluid
- Disposable towels/ shop towels
- Ratchet and socket set
- Disposable gloves
- Flanged brake wrenches
Remember, the task of brake bleeding requires extra help, a person that will place force on your brake pedal as you open its bleed valve.
Changing Your Brake Lines
It is best to replace the brake lines in pairs. The reason is that the same thing that led to the failure of one part will make the other part fail.
It is important to replace the brake lines in a set. For example, the Nine sets are as follows:
- Jack up(Lift) the car and make it stable using the jack stands.
- In the place where calipers are attached, find its brake lines underneath the car. A retaining clip can be unclipped using the hands or a pair of pliers.
- Afterward, the connector should be turned using a flanged wrench. Avoid using so much pressure so that you will not bend the connector.
- Remove the brackets if it is bracketed towards the strut. You can do so and drag the lines out.
- Undo the retaining clip and turn the connecting nut to separate the brake line from its master cylinder.
- Remember the washer at the caliper, fix your new hose to the car’s brake caliper, then keep it in its brackets.
- With the use of the retaining clip, add the brake again.
- Also, with the use of your flared wrench, re-attach the line.
- Finally, you can bleed the brake by opening its bleeder cap, then ask a person to pump your brakes so that air will be forced out. When fluid starts flowing, close/shut the cap. Follow your manual for bleeding brakes. Usually, it is closest to the driver seat- so rear passenger, rear driver, passenger, driver.
Having mounted your brake lines, first cut the lines. Afterward, divide the new lengths to be equal. If not, the procedure is similarly the same.
You are to fix your fittings in the brake lines that you cut. Most importantly, examine to know if you own inverted flare or compressed fittings in the car before you go ahead with the act.
Check out this video for more tips on how to replace brake lines
Frequently Asked Questions – Brake Line Replacement Cost
How much does it cost to replace four brake lines?
An estimate of $150 to $300 will be spent to change the brake line in your car.
Can you drive a car with a broken brake line?
It is dangerous to use a car that has faulty brakes. Pull over when you notice any fault in your brake, not minding how little it seems.
Can you replace brake lines yourself?
Yes, you can if you possess mechanical experience. It can be done at home.
What causes a brake line to break?
When rust is caused by moisture or road salt, the brake line can break, leak, or become brittle. Also, a car accident can weaken, collapse, or bend the brake lines.
How do I know if my brake line is busted?
Hold a flashlight under the car, and if there are drips inside the wheels, dry or wet fluid streaks, or rust spots, it is likely a brake line leak.
Can you patch a leaking brake line?
An adhesive such as rubber, cement, or tape can be used for the patches. While patching, ensure that it does not enter your brake line because it can damage the other parts.
How long will it take to change brake pipes?
About three to four hours (3-4hrs). Seek your mechanic’s assistance to change your car’s brake pipe.
Conclusion – Brake Line Replacement Cost
Fixing the brake line of a car is not costly, and with little experience, you can do so yourself. For cars like Toyota, Nissan, Chevy, and Honda, you will spend about $250.
Vehicles like Mercedes or BMW will cost between ($400) four hundred dollars to ($500) five hundred dollars.
If there is rust or leak in your brake lines, ensure that you fix it as soon as possible. Do not wait for it to escalate or cause damage elsewhere before you fix it.