Whether you’re a professional taking care of a customer’s vehicle or an enthusiast taking care of your own, you know how complex brake-related repairs can get. Even choosing a brake line kit can be time-consuming given the vast array of options available.
Galvanized steel and PVF brake lines are popular choices thanks to their relative robustness and affordability. Read on and learn about these brake lines, along with the pros and cons they offer
PVF Brake Lines
The PVF brake line gets its name from the polyvinyl fluoride coating it’s covered in, which is baked and cured to galvanized steel line during production. This results in a durable coating that not only resists flaking and chipping but also shields the line itself from external causes of rust and corrosion, such as road salt and slush. PVF brake line kits are popular with DIYers and professionals who want long-lasting brake lines.
While PVF brake lines provide superior protection against rust and corrosion, the coating itself can make bending and flaring slightly more difficult. It’s not uncommon for pros and DIYers to strip a small amount of coating from the to-be-flared area to make the job a bit easier. The downside is that you’ll risk compromising the anti-rust protection afforded by the PVF coating.
Steel Brake Lines
Galvanized steel brake lines are the factory standard on the vast majority of vehicles. It’s readily available in nearly any auto repair shop, and it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other types of brake lines. A steel brake line kit represents one of the best values for small-scale brake line replacements.
Galvanized steel brake lines have some protection against rust and corrosion thanks to the hot-dip galvanization process. Nevertheless, constant exposure to salt and moisture will eventually result in corrosion over time.
Which One to Choose?
When it comes to cost, it’s hard to beat the effectiveness of galvanized steel brake lines. If you’re in an area where rust isn’t a serious issue and you want to save a little money on your brake system rebuild, steel brake lines are the way to go.
On the other hand, investing a little more money into PVF brake lines is a good idea if you live in the Rust Belt or any other area where rust and corrosion is prevalent. The protective coating on top of galvanized steel’s inherent resistance against rust should result in a brake line that lasts for a longer among of time.
Don’t forget that there are other alternatives to PVF and steel brake lines. Nickel-copper brake lines, for example, are nearly impervious to rust while offering a softer material that’s easy to form and flare.