Regularly replacing your brake pads is an important part of vehicle maintenance, but they aren't the only part of your vehicle's braking system that wears out over time. In addition to the discs that your pads use to create friction, your car is also equipped with a network of brake lines that allow hydraulic fluid to travel from your car's master cylinder to the calipers at each wheel. In most cars, the hydraulic fluid is carried by hard lines to each wheel well and then by a flexible brake hose to the caliper. This flexible line can fail over time, however, leading to dangerous brake fluid leaks or obstructions.
The Causes of Brake Hose Failure
Even high-quality flexible hoses will tend to fail eventually. These hoses are usually constructed from rubber composites with a fabric reinforcement layer in between the outer and inner rubber portions. The design and manufacturing of brake hoses adhere to stringent government standards that dictate how they should respond to a variety of different stresses. These standards are essential since your flexible brake lines must be able to move as your wheels bounce over bumps and potholes or as your front wheels turn with steering input.
Despite this, age and heating cycles can take their toll on the rubber of the hoses. This can leads to cracks and a general breakdown of the outer material. Rust particles that enter into the braking system can also degrade the internal parts of the brake hose, leading to failures that are harder to see and that can ultimately create restrictions in the brake line. Regardless of the cause, brake hoses require replacement once they begin to fail.
The Advantages of Stainless Steel Hoses
Although almost all manufacturers use flexible brake hoses made from rubber, aftermarket stainless steel brake lines are available from a variety of third parties. These replacement hoses are usually more expensive, but they offer several benefits. Thanks to their stainless steel construction, they do not degrade in the same way that rubber hoses commonly do. Their ability to withstand higher hydraulic fluid pressure and lack of expansion and contraction cycles generally results in a firmer pedal feel as well. This change in pedal feel can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your personal preference.
Are Stainless Steel Lines Right For You?
If you are replacing your flexible brake lines either due to failure or as preventative maintenance, then stainless steel lines are worth considering. They are generally more durable and longer-lasting than rubber lines, but their advantages for standard street driving are minimal. If you intend to take your car to the track or participate in extremely spirited driving, then stainless steel lines potentially offer significant advantages. Whichever option you choose, it is crucial to replace your existing brake hoses with new hoses sourced from a quality supplier.
For more information, contact businesses like Williams Oil Filter Service Co.