An Overview of the Braking System
Brake lines and fittings are a very important component of any braking system on any type of modern vehicle. Since the brake system is a sealed system that starts in the master cylinder where the brake fluid lives and then travels down the brake lines to the wheels and through the flexible brake hoses into the calipers or wheel cylinders, there must be no leaks in the lines for proper functioning. One small leak can predict brake failure in the near future.
Signs of a Failing Brake Line
Faulty brake lines of any type will give you a few signs that they are punctured, leaking, or cracked before your brake system is completely failing to stop you. You may notice brake fluid leaks that happen when you apply the brakes or you may notice puddles of brake fluid on a garage floor or driveway where you park. You can slide a large piece of cardboard under the vehicle when you park so you will know that the fluid is coming from your particular vehicle if you don’t park in one designated spot. You may have the brake light on your dash come on when the fluid drops below a certain level to alert you to a leak. If the vehicle is driven in cold climates where salt is used on the roads for ice and snow, the lines can corrode much more quickly and weaken them, which leads to leaks.
Copper-Nickel Tubing Brake Lines
A copper brake line is the best quality brake lines you can buy for a longer-lasting life on any vehicle, farm vehicle and industrial vehicles alike. Copper tubing is easy to replace because it is a pliable and bendable product that can make bends and turns without breaking. Copper tubing is also the toughest material in brake lines so it will last the entire life of the vehicle it is installed on. This material doesn’t rust and it also has the highest burst strength making it a great product for any application. Farm equipment and industrial equipment must remain in perfect working order on a daily basis to perform the duties they should and copper tubing is the answer to this.
Polyvinyl Coated Brake Lines
When standard steel brake lines are covered with a revolutionary PVF technology in a polyvinyl fluoride coating, it makes them much stronger, more durable, and longer-lasting. This coating provides up to 30 times more corrosion and rust protection than standard steel brake lines, and it meets the safety standards of SAE J527B specifications for a great product. It is commonly called a PVF brake line.
Standard Steel Brake Lines
A steel brake line is a less expensive option, but they are also only worth what they cost. Steel brake lines are stronger than OEM brake lines, but they are subject to corrosion and breaking and they are harder to install because they are less flexible than other types of soft brake lines so their connection to each brake part needs close monitoring.
OEM Brake Lines and Fittings
OEM brake lines that are installed when a vehicle is manufactured are the lesser of all the quality items for your hydraulic braking systems. They are basic rubber or rubber brake lines wrapped in a steel mesh. The rubber lines can swell with age and then burst all of a sudden with no warning. The steel mesh wrapping has a job to keep the rubber from swelling and breaking, but it’s hard to find a leak or puncture area in a mesh wrapped hose.
This comparison of the types of brake lines available should help you to choose a brake line kit that fits your needs and your budget.