Signs of a Vehicle Brake Line Issue

The braking system of your car is a highly complex system that involves the brake lines, calipers, brake pads, and rotors. To function properly, brake fluid must flow freely through the lines that run to your calipers, to each wheel, and back to the fluid reservoir. When the lines start to fail, so do your brakes. However, it is not always immediately clear that this is happening. Keep reading to learn about some signs that indicate that your brake lines are failing and not another part of the braking system.

Stuck Caliper

Calipers can stick and this will cause the brake pads to rub against the rotors aggressively while you drive. You can feel a definite pull on one side of your car where the sticking caliper is located. The issue will often start off as minor, but it will become severe over time. The problem can become so bad that the rotor can become red hot and glow if you ignore the telltale issue.

In some cases, the caliper can stick and then loosen up. While this may occur with a failing caliper, the issue is much more likely the result of a brake line failure. Specifically, the smaller brake line that runs from the main line to the caliper is the one that is likely causing the issue. You will notice a problem when your car warms up and it will go away once your car cools down once again. 

The brake line issue is one that develops with the rubberized hose part of the line. When this hose starts to break down and erode, it will become pliable as warm fluid run through it. This causes the line to temporarily collapse inward. The closed line causes the caliper to engage and it will not release until the brake line opens up again. This is a sure sign that you need to have the hose replaced.

Mushy Brakes

Some vehicles, especially older ones, will have brakes that can be easily pressed. These brakes take a bit of pressure on the pedal before your vehicle stops. The brakes are called soft. However, if you can press the pedal halfway to the floor before your vehicle starts to slow, then this is a mushy brake issue that is the result of low pressure in the brake line. While the issue can be the result of a fluid reservoir that needs to be refilled, it is a common issue that forms when there is a hole in the brake line. 

A hole in a brake line means that the braking system cannot retain the pressure it needs to activate the brakes when the brake pedal is pushed. It takes more and more pressure from your foot to activate the calipers. Even if the pedal is pushed to the floor, sometimes the calipers will only activate partially, resulting in a vehicle that stops dangerously slow. If you have mushy brakes, then this is a situation where you should call mechanics or find out more through resources like