How to Repair Leaking Brake Lines
Broken brake lines are an accident waiting to happen. Once break lines lose pressure you will not be able to slow down in time to avoid catastrophe. Leaking brake lines are common in cars in areas with snow and ice. This is because of the salt used on the roads as it causes brake lines to decay. The best thing you can do to repair leaking brake lines is to replace them. It's a fairly straightforward auto repair you can DIY.
Step 1 - Assess the Problem
In order to discern the extent of the leaking brake lines, you need to have the vehicle supported. Raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands. From this perspective, you will be able to locate the brake lines. The master cylinder is a good starting point and then work toward the back. Look for rust and leaking hoses.
Step 2 - Remove the Brake Lines
Use the tubing cutter to cut through the brake lines that need to be replaced. In some circumstances, you may need to remove the entire system. Rust tends to be a factor when dealing with the bolts holding the brake lines in place. Spray the bolts with a generous amount of rust remover. After several minutes, remove the bolts.
Step 3 - Replace the Brake Lines
Measure the sections of removed brake lines and use those measurements to cut new pieces of brake line. For each section to be replaced you will need two compressions fittings. To get the right sizes it is a good idea to take the brake lines to the auto store and they will be able to give you the right size line and fittings. Remove the compression fitting caps but be careful not to lose the ferrule. At the end of one of the brake lines place the cap and then the ferrule. Now, place the center of the fitting onto the end of the brake line. Tighten it as much as you can by hand. The other end of the brake line is fitted the same way. Whole sections can be removed with wrenches and vice grips.
Step 4 - Empty Brake Fluid
Empty brake fluid into the master cylinder and then bleed the air from the brake lines. Place the drip pan below the brake bleeder in the rear and loosen it until brake fluid drips steadily from the line and then tighten it. Repeat the process with the left rear, right front, and the left front bleeders. Fill the master cylinder with brake fluid once more. Start the vehicle and pump the brakes slowly. Make sure you pause each time the brake touches the floor and it's released. Continue until there is good pressure. Shut the car off and inspect it for leaks prior to lowering the vehicle.