Why Do Brake Lines Break?

by Sachiko Schott
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Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com

A car's brake lines are needed to carry brake fluid to the brake pads at the car's wheels. Brake lines can break when they become weakened due to corrosion or rust, or from impact, such as in a car crash.

Brake Lines

When you press down on your car's brake pedal, you force brake fluid through the brake lines to a braking unit on each wheel. The fluid causes brake pads to press against the brake rotor, causing it to slow. The front and back wheels have rubber brake lines, because flexibility is required; otherwise, they are made from steel.

Causes of Damage to Rubber Brake Lines

Rubber brake lines deteriorate naturally over time, due to moisture and heat. They can also be corroded by the salt that is spread on icy roads in the winter . If the roads where you live are covered in salt in the winter, it is a good idea to wash your car's underbody regularly, to rinse off the salt and prevent damage to your brake lines.

Causes of Damage to Steel Brake Lines

The steel brake lines in a vehicle will eventually rust and break. Road salt can accelerate this process. As well, the force of impact from a car crash can cause steel brake lines to bend or collapse, which weakens them and renders them susceptible to breakage. If a steel brake line breaks, it is best to replace the complete line rather than trying to patch it.

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