How to Repair a Brake Line

Brake line in car.
Peter Schinkel/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Your brakes are very important. Brakes are no place to get skimpy. If you need to replace a broken, brittle or leaking brake line, do it sooner rather than later.

What you'll need: Brake fluid, new brake lines, open end wrenches, and clean rags.

Before you begin, be sure your car is safely supported on jack stands. Remove the wheel and you're ready to get busy.

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Removing the Old Brake Line

Loosen the brake line connection.
Use two wrenches to loosen the brake line. photo by matt wright, 2007

The rubber brake line attaches to sturdier metal parts, usually connecting two metal parts at a point that needs to be flexible.

The connection consists of two halves with hex-shaped fittings. In other words, you need two wrenches to get 'em apart. Put a wrench on each fitting, and loosen the connection. have a rag handy to catch the brake fluid as it leaks out.

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Fit the new brake line in place.
The fittings on the new brake line. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

Installing the new brake line is the reverse of removal. Ok, they always say that. Here's what to do.

Carefully hand thread the connection together. Check out the pic to see how they go together. Once it's hand tight, use two wrenches to finish the job.

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Finishing Up

Your new brake line.
New brake line installed. photo by Matt Wright, 2007

With the new brake line installed, you'll need to add brake fluid to the system and bleed the brakes. Now you're ready to go, and stop!

I like to replace brake lines in pairs. If one line went bad, the other one isn't far behind. If you're really lucky, you have two flexible lines at each axle. That means twice the work. But don't skimp on brakes.