Brake lines ............ check them

Discussion in 'Tires / Brakes / Bearings / Axles' started by Raycfe, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Today there was a bad accident in upstate New York. My wife asked me how that could happen.
    My first thought ..... 2001 SUV ....... something mechanical ........ maybe brake lines.
    The next time you get your TV serviced, have them checked. Sometimes they are completely overlooked.
    Wild-Life likes this.
  2. Wild-Life

    Wild-Life Active Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    North Carolina
    I blew a hard line after leaving Andrew Jackson SP, SC about 8 months ago. Fortunately we had not gotten to I-85 yet. I have since replaced all 7 hard lines, 5 soft lines and 4 calipers on my 2002 TV. Those inferior steel lines will corrode over time and then burst under brake pressure. I agree with Ray.... inspect them often.
  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    You guys are making me nervous about mine now. I don't know much about my car and rely solely on my machanic who I barely trust. Before I went on my trip, I had them check the breaks. Their response was, there are nothing wrong with your breaks. Over a year ago I did have to replace my calipers and breaks on my vehical. However I've been over three sets of mountain and live in stop and go traffic on days I don't travel and they still say everything looks brand new. Grant you, when I travel I rely on my transmission to do the heavy stopping, but stop and go traffic usually is murder on breaks. Usually my shop will quickly jump that something needs to be replaced even though it really doesn't., now I'm getting, everything is fine. In your experience do machanics check the break lines when you tell them "check the breaks" or do they just take the easy way out?
  4. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2011
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    I have no confidence that they will check the lines. Usually just the pads, calipers & rotors.
    Raycfe likes this.
  5. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2018
    Brake lines are also the “fall guy” in accidents where the driver was distracted. I got rear ended because a guy was texting and he told the Trooper his “brake lines must’ve failed”. Trooper wrote that down until he interviewed me and I told him I was watching the guy in my rear view mirror and was honking my horn to get his attention. 3 lanes of stopped traffic and I was the lucky guy to be in the middle lane. Thankfully, only the car was hurt.
  6. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

    Apr 21, 2010
    Pickering, Ontario
    Mechanics get paid "per job" so usually recommend anything even close to needing replacing. I had my brakes done early summer and they recommended a couple of the lines being replaced as well and I didn't hesitate in giving the go ahead. I was very glad I did because I headed to Vermont camping a few weeks later and the peace of mind trailering in the Green Mountains was well worth it IMO.
  7. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

    Sep 11, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    All I can say is the brine they use here in NJ in the winter is not helping matters. The lines on my 02 F150 blew out. I trust our mechanic. We had a long conversation about brake lines and the brine they put down in the winter. He says the amount of brake lines he has replaced year over year is increasing.

    The previous owner of our sons truck (96 F250) replaced all the brake lines in the truck with stainless steel lines. The truck was from Long Island along the shore, so the salt air didn't help.
    neighbormike likes this.
  8. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2011
    Elkins WV area
    The biggest problem is the location where the lines fail at can't be inspected. Between a fuel tank and frame, inside a frame rail. These places get a lot of corrosive water in the winter months from brines/salt and you can't get to them to wash.
  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Yep, brine is the death of a car. Treating everything underneath with Fluid Film can help preserve the steel parts.
  10. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    Replacing brake lines is not a fun or easy job. A good mechanic would look over all the underneath parts of your car. Crossmembers, brake lines, spare tire and carrier, body mounts, shock mounts, exhaust etc. Sorry to say many would just look for "gravy" repairs.
  11. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

    Jun 12, 2013
    Funny Ray, that is the first thing I thought of when I saw this story on the news. My tow vehicle is, coincidently, a 2001 Ford Excursion. I have had 3 steel brake lines pop in the past four years. Thankfully, all on my property.

    I agree.... not easy to predict when or if a brake line might burst, rusty or otherwise.

    Beyond thinking it was possibly a brake line failure, lets think about this. Couple years ago I weighed my truck with me and the dog in it, half tank of fuel. My truck was nearly 8,500 lbs. Add 18 (GASP) people @ an average of 175 lbs. each: that's 3,150 lbs. I can only guess what a limo stretch weighs, but that was a long stretch on that truck. I'll make an educated guess and say it was probably close to 15,000 lbs of truck plus passengers that they were asking bone stock Excursion brakes to stop..... coming out of a 50mph zone, down hill ….. to a stop sign. Then add in that it was 17 years old.

    May God bless all those families and help them through this.

    There is NO WAY the limo company has enough insurance coverage to 'compensate' for all those losses. Sad.
  12. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Oct 3, 2007
    Waterford, Ct
    The owner is out of the county ...... I agree the compensation will be a hard thing to find. The business will just close and be gone.

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