Different Types of Brake Lines

by J. Cavan Barry

Brake lines are crucial to the hydraulic braking system of every vehicle. These are made as two different products that serve an array of a driver's needs and desires.


There are two types of brake lines commonly used in cars in 2009: the basic rubber brake line found in every vehicle that is installed at the auto manufacturer, and the steel-braided brake line, which is a rubber brake line wrapped in a steel mesh.


The basic brake line serves to hold and distribute brake fluid to the brakes on a vehicle. Steel-braided brake lines are a performance aftermarket addition where the steel mesh restricts the brake lines from swelling, thus creating a more responsive braking system.


The cost of brake lines can vary greatly depending on the vehicle make and model, but steel-braided brake lines will usually be an average of 30% more than basic OEM (original equipment manufacturer) brake lines.


Basic OEM brake lines are a cheaper option over the more costly steel-braided lines, but steel-braided brake lines can still be damaged, and the steel mesh makes finding a leak difficult.


Steel-braided brake lines are a performance modification and should not be installed on every vehicle, as they can drastically change the performance of the vehicle and can even void warranties on newer vehicles.

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