It is a common question for many drivers: Can I drive with a broken brake line? Perhaps, it’s not tricky to answer such a question as you know the brake line’s function.
For the safety of you, pedestrians, and any passengers inside the car, you must know what will happen with a brake line broke while driving.
Waiting may no longer be suitable. Have it repaired as soon as possible.
More than that, take all signs of a poor brake line and how to fix it to a tee. Keep reading to learn more!
Can I Drive With A Broken Brake Line?
Can I drive with a leaking brake line?
Definitive no. A broken brake line poses a severe safety hazard. It’s never a good idea since it puts you and others in danger. When the brake lines leak, you can’t stop in time to avoid an accident.
Hence, verifying it and having your car fixed immediately when you suspect the damage is a wise move. Such a matter may involve the car shutting off when brakes are pressed.
Move on to the following sections to grab all the sure signs and the basics for dealing with them.
What Are Bad Brake Line Symptoms?
Brake Pedal Feel
Your car’s brake pedal should feel resistant to pressure when you press down on it.
However, a faulty brake line would come with an apparent leak falling on the car’s floor whenever you press it. Undoubtedly, it must be fixed as soon as possible.
Brake Pedal Pushes To The Floorboard
Your vehicle’s floorboard should not touch the car’s brake pedal. If it happens or the vehicle can’t stop right after you hit the brake pedal, your brake lines are probably broken.
The brake lines are now on the verge of failing. Thus, do not drive anymore; instead, contact the repair center.
When you apply the brakes, a grinding sound will pop up.
The metal-to-metal sound means that there is no brake pad left. It also informs you of worn brake pads. You need a vehicle brake repair right away or replace the defective brake pads if needed.
Besides all the above, have a professional automobile brake repair if you experience vibration when applying pressure to the brakes.
If you press the brakes and they don’t stop straight away, the brake liquid level could be low. Visit a mechanic and ask them to test the fluid.
Also, a brake line leak or a failing brake master cylinder can render the brakes reluctant to respond.
Typically, the seals need altering in some cases. Afterward, remove all the air from them for a proper-functioning brake line under car.
When drivers apply the brakes, many say it feels like pressing a sponge. It implies a brake-line issue. Spongy brakes might indicate air bubbles in the braking fluid due to a leak inside.
Bleeding the brakes might help for the most part. But completely replacing your brake line is recommended when the brake persists spongy after bleeding or in other cases.
Squeaking Or Squealing
When brake pads are getting close to the end of their life, they make a squealing or squeaking noise. Worn-out brake pads typically come with louder sounds.
Without timely fixes, it can end up with more deterioration and make driving unsafe. Make an appointment with an auto repair shop for automobile brake repairs soon.
Today’s cars include a brake warning light at the time of maintenance required. The primary brake system light, the emergency brake light, and the ABS (anti-lock braking system) light are all present.
Pay a visit to the mechanical or repair shop if these lights don’t turn off.
Via brake lines, brake fluid is transported from the reservoir inside the master cylinder to your brake calipers. After the system has already been finished, no brake fluid enters or exits.
This enables its brake pedal to apply pressure to a piston in opposite directions. Granted, it’s no longer normal to see leaks in any area. The brake may jam up or stop functioning totally.
Leaks inside the brake lines can be associated with poor calipers. Inspect this component to ensure its good status as well.
Beyond that, the brake fluid should be clear in color. Once you witness the brown tint and dirt, change the fluid soon.
Corrosion Or Moisture
If you look at the brake line on a car and detect moisture or rust, there may be leaks. Any corrosion boosts the likelihood of brake line failure. Get the brake lines altered or fixed at once.
What Causes Your Brake Line To Break?
What causes a brake line to break? Here are 4 common roots:
Damaged Rubber Brake Lines
Brake fluid is sent through brake pipes to braking units on each wheel whenever you depress the brake pedal. The fluid lets the braking rotor slow down as the brake pads press on it.
These versatile lines on the rear and front wheels are constructed of rubber rather than steel.
Water and heat ruin the rubber brake lines and break line in car over time. In the winter, they may also get damaged by the salt used to de-ice the roadways.
When driving on such roads, wash your car’s undercarriage to let off the salt and cushion the brake pipes.
Faulty Steel Brake Lines
How do brake lines break? A car’s steel brake lines may corrode and fail at some point. The use of road salt can speed this up.
Steel brake lines are prone to breaking as they can be bent or collapsed by the car collision’s intensity. When a steel brake line cracks, change the whole line, not just the broken section.
Low Brake Fluid Level
The power needed to stop your auto is transformed from the force you put into the brake pedal and the braking fluid. Nonetheless, this fluid can dry out, much like brake pads might, as the vehicle ages.
Over time, the brake caliper’s piston will travel farther away from the caliper’s housing as the brake pads age, creating more brake fluid within the caliper.
This overflow can cause the master cylinder to run dry of braking fluid, even without a fluid leak.
You may have low brake fluid after a long time without a check. So, be mindful of getting your brakes checked on time.
As for dispersing the first-mentioned hydraulic pressure, the master cylinder is pivotal. It helps direct brake fluid to where it needs to go so that you can stop the car.
The cylinder’s seals may dry out and leak after some time. Check this out if the stopping process requires a full floor push of the brake pedal abnormally.
How To Replace A Broken Break Line?
Step 1: Locate The Leak & Disassemble Your Faulty Line
An oily trail on the floor or beneath the car, most likely around the brake pipes, will be the first indication that anything is wrong.
Use a line wrench to preclude the hex from stripping since it will grip more of the hex’s area. It is possible to sever the line and introduce a socket if the entire run is replaced.
Remove the lines without distorting their form. Next, disconnect the line leading to the driver’s side master cylinder. Keeping a cloth on hand is a bright idea in case of a leak.
Step 2: Bend A New Line
Depending on the material, you may purchase replacement lines by length or roll.
Copper is less likely to rust or corrode but can get fatigued and hardened quickly.
Meanwhile, steel needs protective coatings like zinc or epoxy to prevent rust. Stainless steel lines are another choice; they’re more challenging to employ, but they won’t rust.
Pick brake lines compatible with the present lines’ diameter, fitting type, and measurement systems.
A bender is your best bet when you don’t want to kink the line. Ensure that the new and old lines are aligned.
Step 3: Cut Your Line To Size
After positioning your cutter tool, tighten your knob, spin it until it’s loose, tighten it once more, spin, then repeat until the end separates. Cut about 1/4″ longer to accommodate the flare.
Put it in the exact middle of the cut line and spin it continually to remove the burr. Use a file to refine and clean your cut at the very end.
Step 4: Flare Your Line
The clamp’s jaws, in which the line rests, must first be clean if you spot debris or dirt here.
Install the fit first, and ensure that the clamp’s chamfered side is flared properly. The exposed line needs to have a similar thickness as the die’s big side.
Depending on the line’s dimensions, pick the dies fitting best inside it. Ensure the clamp is snug; you will never wish the line to budge.
Applying a tiny quantity of oil to the die’s aids in producing a flare of excellent quality. Install the cone tool, add a dowel end to your line, and the die will be pushed into its place.
The cone will sit in a depression on the dead. To enable the flare to be folded down, tighten your cone tools until they stop, remove your die, and then reinstall this cone tool.
Apply a little extra oil, if required, and tighten till it stops. Once you finish the last flare, it’s all ready for installation.
Step 5: Install New Line
Your master cylinder may require a bubble flare or an adapter bought from the auto-part shop. It enables you to attach it to the flare female unit.
Install your line; it might need gently modifying at the bends. Make sure the line doesn’t brush against nearby things that could harm it.
Step 6: Bleed Your Air System
Once you’ve double-checked that everything is secure, it’s time to bleed your whole system. After bleeding the air out of the braking system, refill your master cylinder reservoir using fluid.
What Do Brake Lines Do?
The braking mechanism in most cars is hydraulic and dependent on fluid pressure.
Brake pads make contact with the rotors, move pistons in the calipers, and transport braking fluid through the system. The car slows down and finally stops due to this contact.
The fluid travels around the car’s braking system as you depress the brake pedal.
In all cases, the brake fluid moves from the reservoir and provides the pressure required to carry a piston. Brake pipes play a critical role in the braking fluid’s movement.
Steel tubing, a stiff material, or more soft materials resembling hoses, can be used to make brake lines.
All in all, they are part and parcel of the system to keep driving safe. Damage to them is frequently viewed as an emergency repair.
How Long Does A Brake Line Replacement Take?
It takes 1-2 hours with a qualified mechanic. Not all vehicles have the same routing for brake lines. The changing process, however, is often simple overall.
The old brake line will need removing and replacing with a new one.
Some tools are required for the work before beginning repairs.
These would comprise:
- Line wrenches (flare nut wrench)
- Line cutter
- Brake line fitting
- Brake fluid
- Flaring kit
- Replacement brake lines
The Bottom Line
Can I drive with a broken brake line? Back again, never do that unless you want to get something hazardous.
It can lead to a complete loss of braking ability, putting you and others on the road in jeopardy.
We’ve just discussed the potential risks of driving with a defective brake line and what you can do to minimize these risks.
Remember to share such an informative read with others for their safety.