My Car: Leaking Brake Line

In my post about plans for work on my car this year, I said that it’s likely something will break and need fixing besides what I planned to do. It didn’t take long.


On January 2nd, as I slowed down to turn into the parking lot at work, my brake pedal went to the floor. At first it looked like one of the rear brake lines was leaking where it came down from the front to the bottom of the car, but then I noticed there was brake fluid above the bend, so I started looking higher. I eventually found that one of the lines had rubbed against a hose clamp until it wore through far enough for a pinhole to open.


I didn’t have the time or parts to fix it at the moment, so to get around until I could fix it I just disconnected the line and plugged the outlet with a bolt. My car’s brake line fittings are 10×1.0 thread. I was only fine with doing this because it was a rear brake, which doesn’t do nearly as much work as the front brakes.


I didn’t feel like dealing with replacing the entire line to the left rear wheel, so I decided to cut the line in the middle and just replace the front half. Some people might be lazy and use a compression fitting here, which is illegal and dangerous. A brake line union like this is the proper way to do this.


While routing the new brake line, I noticed that the fuel lines, which had also been replaced with the rear brake lines, were rubbing a little bit against the subframe and sway bar. It’s really hard to bend steel lines, so to protect them I slit open a piece of hose and put it between the lines and sway bar.

Hopefully I don’t have to do more brake lines soon. They’re not the worst job but not the easier to bend and route without running into other parts and rubbing against them.

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