How To Change Rusty Brake Lines On Your Older Car

If you own an older car and recently noticed that its brake lines are rusted, then it is vital that you replace them. Both road salt and age will cause your car's brake lines to rust and if they rust all the way through, then your brakes will fail one day when you try to stop. Since a brake failure can cause a fatal accident, proactively replacing the brake lines is essential. Thankfully, replacing your car's brake lines is a simple repair and only requires one inexpensive tool - a flange wrench. 

To replace the rusted brake lines on your older car, follow this procedure:

Step 1: Verify the Rust Is Not Just Superficial 

Before you head out to the auto parts store to buy new brake lines and a flange wrench, first take a flat-bladed screwdriver and scrape gently at the brake line's rust. If the rust is only on the very surface, then the lines are fine. However, if the rust has eating farther into the metal, then they must be replaced. 

Step 2: Buy a Flange Wrench and New Brake Lines

Once you have determined that the brake lines need replacement, then you need to go to a local auto parts store and purchase an adjustable flange wrench and new brake lines for your car.

If you have experience making simple fittings and bending pipe, you can save a lof money by buying a roll of brake line tubing and a pipe bender. With these two things, you can make your own new brake lines.

Step 3: Spray All Attachment Points with Penetrating Fluid

Since your car's old brake lines have been on the car for years, the flange nuts are likely stuck to the master cylinder and brake fluid reservoir. To easily remove them, spray each attachment point with penetrating fluid and allow it a bit of time to soak in and loosen the flange nuts. 

Step 4: Remove the Rusty Brake Lines

Using the flange wrench, remove each of the nuts where the brake lines are attached to their surrounding parts. If the nuts are still stuck, then you can heat them with a heat gun or hairdryer to help loosen them.

Once you have removed the brake lines, then they can be recycled with other junk metal at your local recycling center.

Step 5: Attach the New Brake Lines

Put each new brake line in place and attach them using the flange wrench. 

Step 6: Bleed All of the Air Out of the Car's Braking System

Finally, since replacing your brake lines has opened up your car's closed braking system, you need to remove all of the air you introduced while making your repair. This must be done before you can safely drive your vehicle. Bleed the air out using the bleeder valves while having a helper pump the brakes up and down inside the cab of your car. Keep bleeding the lines until all of the air bubbles stop.

If at any point you feel unsure about your installation contact an auto parts business specializing in things like brake lines, hydraulic hoses, and air conditioning hoses (click to read more). They should be able to get you back on the right track.