Brake hoses play an essential part in a car’s performance. Using hydraulic pressure and brake fluid, they deliver braking force to a vehicle’s brake pads, which helps to ensure that your car stops when you hit the brakes.
However, your car’s brake hoses won’t last forever, and you’ll eventually need to replace them. To help you do so, here are three vital tips for brake hose replacement.
Tip #1: Understand the Signs of a Brake Hose Problem
It’s essential to know the signs of a worn or damaged brake hose assembly. The following symptoms may suggest a problem with your brake hose:
- Mushy Brake Pedal: Does your car’s brake pedal feel softer than usual when it’s depressed? This could be a sign of a damaged brake hose assembly. If the brake pedal feels soft, it means the car’s stopping power has diminished. For safety reasons, it’s important to address this issue as soon as possible.
- Cracks, Tears or Bulges on the Brake Hose: Your car’s brake hoses are subjected to high pressure, and they’re constantly twisting and flexing. Over time, this can cause wear and impact performance. Cracks, bulges and tears can develop, and you’ll likely be able to identify these through a visual inspection. If you don’t have a lot of experience with vehicle repairs, the best way to identify whether your brake hose needs attention is to take the car to a skilled service technician.
If you know how long a brake hose typically lasts, you’ll have a sense of when it needs to be replaced. A rubber brake hose usually lasts about six years, but bear in mind that life expectancy can vary based on driving habits and driving conditions. For example, if you tend to brake aggressively when you’re driving, it may shorten the life of your car’s brake hoses. Extreme weather can also cause your brake hoses to develop early wear and tear.
Tip #3: Understand What to Look for When Buying a New Brake Hose
Some brake hoses are better than others, so it’s important to choose carefully. Here’s some guidance to consider as you make your selection:
- Choose a Reputable Brand: Brands matter when you’re selecting brake hoses. Choose a brake hose made by your vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer, or select a product made by a brand you recognize and respect.
- Select a Brake Hose With Corrosion-Resistant End Fittings: The end fittings on your brake hose can corrode with time, which may cause performance-diminishing leaks. If you choose a brake hose with end fittings designed to resist corrosion, you’ll be less likely to experience this problem.
- Opt for a Brake Hose Designed to Resist Dry Rot: Sometimes a brake hose can crack and flake after prolonged exposure to certain environmental conditions. This type of decay is called dry rot. Some brake hoses are designed to resist dry rot, so consider picking one up for a product that will likely have a longer life expectancy.
You need effective brakes to drive safely, and brake hoses are integral to your car’s braking system, so it’s crucial to watch for problems with your car’s brake hose and replace it as soon as there’s an issue.
Check out all the brake products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on brake hose replacement, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.