Signs That A Vehicle Brake Line Has Collapsed

19 October 2017
 Categories: , Blog

The braking system on your vehicle is obviously very important. It is what keeps you safe during normal driving conditions. The vehicle braking system is fairly large and widespread, even though individuals tend to focus on their brake pads and rotors. The system does also include the brake lines, and these lines do sometimes need to be changed. This is especially true of the brake lines that run to the rotor at each wheel. Typically, the lines will collapse. Keep reading to learn about some signs that your brake lines have collapsed.

Sticking Brakes

If a brake caliper stops working and the piston no longer moves to push and release the brake pads, then you will notice a fairly significant issue with the way your vehicle stops. Typically, you will feel a slight or severe pull along one wheel. This is an issue that is consistent once the caliper breaks. However, in certain situations, you may notice the pull issue happening only intermittently. While most people immediately jump to replace a caliper, this is not the actual issue, even though it is causing the caliper to clamp down hard on the rotor.

An intermittent brake pull issue is typical when the brake line leading to the caliper collapses. This places direct pressure on the caliper that causes it to compress like it would if you pushed hard on the brake pedal.  

Since the vast majority of brake likes in the region leading to the caliper are rubber and pliable, issues are noticed more often when your car heats up. The heat causes the line to collapse and stops brake fluid from moving as freely through the line. 

A stuck caliper is quite dangerous, so do not attempt to drive your vehicle if you notice the problem. Allow your vehicle to completely cool down and then test the brakes to see if your vehicle is responding properly. 

Dirty Brake Fluid

Brakes fluid does need to be changed like all of the other fluids in your engine compartment. However, the fluid does not need to be changed very often. In fact, a change every few years is likely more than enough. 

If you have changed the fluid recently or if a recent fluid check shows brake fluid that is clear and you suddenly notice it appearing cloudy, then this is a good sign that a brake line has started to collapse. As the rubber line degrades, it will release small bits of rubber into the fluid. Metal parts of the line can also rust and release this debris. When this happens, the brake fluid will carry the contaminants to the fluid reservoir and the fluid will appear quite dirty. 

Check your fluid to see if this is the case and then speak with your mechanic to schedule a complete brake repair check to see if there is an issue.