How to Replace a Honda Civic Brake Lineby Chris Moore
The brake lines for all four wheels on the Honda Civic are made of two main parts--a metal pipe and a rubber hose, with the hose connecting the pipe to the brake caliper. If either one of these parts has a hole or is stretched, corroded or otherwise deteriorated, it needs to be changed. You can replace both the hose or pipe or you can replace them individually, but in both cases you'll need to bleed the brakes after replacing the line.
Changing the Lines
Raise the car using a jack and remove the wheel closest to the end the brake line for more access.
Clean off all dirt and dust from the brake line fittings, using compressed air.
Disconnect the metal brake line from the hose by removing the tube nut with a flare-nut wrench and then disconnecting the U-clip at the brake hose fitting with pliers. Disconnect the line at the other end by loosening its fitting with an open-ended wrench.
Remove the brake hose from the caliper by removing its mounting bolt.
Bend the replacement metal brake line into the same shape as the old one, using a tubing bender.
Attach a replacement brake hose to the brake caliper, using new sealing washers. Make sure you don't twist the hose, and that it doesn't come in contact with the steering components or with the suspension.
Install the replacement brake line, supporting it in its brackets and making sure it has clearance between moving and hot components on the car. Insert the hose through the frame bracket to connect it to the line, then attach the tube nut fitting and U-clip.
Bleeding the Brakes
Inspect the brake fluid level at the master cylinder reservoir and add fluid, as needed. Use DOT 3 brake fluid.
Loosen the bleeder screw on the brake caliper and connect a length of plastic or rubber tubing to the screw fitting. Place the tube's other end in a container of brake fluid.
Have an assistant press the brake pedal as you loosen the bleeder screw. Look for air bubbles to come out of the tube along with the fluid, then tighten the screw once the fluid flow slows down.
Repeat the above step until all air is purged from the caliper, then tighten the bleeder screw and remove the tube.
Reconnect the wheel and lower the car, then top off the master cylinder reservoir with fresh fluid.
- Never use copper tubing--only steel brake lines. Auto parts stores will have pre-fabricated lines that have already been flared at the ends, with the fittings attached.
Items you will need
- Floor jack
- Lug wrench
- Compressed air
- Flare-nut wrench
- Open-ended wrench
- Tube bender
- Steel brake lines
- Rubber brake hoses
- DOT 3 brake fluid
- Small piece of tubing
- "Chilton Honda Civic and CRV Repair Manual"; Robbert Maddox; Haynes North America; 2006
- brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from Fotolia.com