Brakes are one of the most important components of a vehicle. If you can’t stop your vehicle you are going to be in for a bad day. Some ask how to stop a brake line leak. The best option would be to have your car towed to your nearest mechanic. There your mechanic will be able to assess the situation and repair the problem. Although if you have some maintenance experience you may be able to fix the issue yourself.
Why brake lines leak
Brake lines are made of metal. Older cars have seen a lot of miles and over time the brake lines corrode. In most cases brake lines typically rust out. If you live in an area where it snows or near the ocean your vehicle is at risk.
When it snows your local city typically uses salt to clear the roads. While it does a fine job making it easy to get to work the salt is highly corrosive. After years of abuse, your brake lines can rust out.
Why brake hoses leak
If your brake hoses are leaking there can be a few reasons why. First is the age of the hose. Rubber becomes brittle over time. The brake hoses can crack which allows brake fluid to escape. While it is rare, sharp objects like rocks or debris can cut your brake lines. In turn, you will have a puddle of brake fluid on the floor.
Why Master cylinders leak
Master cylinders are pumps connected to your brake pedal. As you press in the pedal the master cylinder pushes the fluid to your pistons and engages the brakes. There are seals inside the Master Cylinder which can go bad over time. If the seals get bad enough your might get a leak. In some cases, your pedal can even go to the floor.
Can I use tape to stop a brake line leak?
Brake lines cannot be safely repaired with any type of tape. Even the amazing flex tape won’t be able to hold the hydraulic pressure. Trying to repair with tape can actually cause you to get into an accident. Brake lines cannot be patched.
How to stop a brake line leak
Replace the line
The best option to fix a leaking brake line is to replace the line. If you don’t have advanced mechanical knowledge it’s better to take your car to a mechanic. There they can replace the line. After the replacement, the shop will have to bleed the system to ensure that there are no air bubbles in the line.
If you feel up to the task you can purchase a pre-bent line and try to install the brakes yourself. Although if you are the occasional DIYer it might not be the safest option. Just a small leak can prevent you from being able to stop your car.
Splice the line
Using a brake line cutting tool you can cut out the bad portion of your brake line a splice a new line in between. This isn’t the easiest option because it requires you to make a perfect seal. Whereas the full line can just tighten right in. There are a couple of options for splicing in a line. You can either use brake flares or compression fittings(not recommended).
Use brake line flares
A flare is the shape at the end of a pipe that is used to make a seal. There are multiple types of flares. There is the 45-degree double flare, 45-degree single flare, 37-degree single flare, and the bubble flare. Depending on your application you may need a specific flare type.
By using a flaring tool you can create the correct flare for your brake line. Although before you make the flare make sure that you already added your fittings. There is nothing like making the perfect flare just to find out you forgot to add the fitting first.
Use compression fittings (Not recommended)
Compression fittings are another way people repair brake lines. Compression fittings use compression to make a seal. Although it’s clearly stated on the box that it shouldn’t be used for brake applications. Your car’s braking system is under a high amount of pressure. Assuming that your compression fittings will hold may not be the best choice.
How to fix brake hoses
Brake hoses are typically made of durable rubber. Although over time they can crack and break. If a broken brake hose is your issue then you should replace the assembly. You can order a new brake hose online based on your year, make, and model. The old hose can be removed and can be replaced with the new part. Any time you unseal your brake system it should be bled.
How to fix Brake Master Cylinders
If you Brake Master Cylinder is leaking then you can either try to rebuild the unit using a rebuild kit or you can replace the Master cylinder with a new one. Purchasing a new Master Cylinder is going to be your easiest option. You don’t have to worry about disassembling the unit and replacing the seals. On the other hand a new unit will be more expensive than a rebuild kit.
Do I have to bleed the brakes?
Any time you open the braking system, other than the Brake Master Cylinder cap, you should bleed the system. Opening the system allows air to enter the lines. Unlike brake fluid, air bubbles can be compressed. This can lead to you having a spongey or foot-to-the-floor pedal. By relieving the air in the lines you can get the correct braking pressure.