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How To Replace Brake Hoses

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Brake hoses are part of the brake line system that assist you in turning the wheels on uneven surfaces. It may not seem like a big deal, but a failing brake hose can cause mushy brakes or the brakes to stop working. Since the hoses are subjected to a large amount of pressure, they will eventually get damaged, and possibly leak fluid. Brake hoses should be easy for you to replace yourself by following these tips.

Prepare to Replace the Hose

To replace the brake hose, gather:

  • work gloves
  • safety goggles
  • jack and jack stands
  • rags
  • screwdriver
  • hammer pliers
  • line wrench
  • various wrenches
  • drip pan
  • brake fluid
  • replacement hose

If the vehicle has been running, turn the engine off, and let it cool. Park the vehicle on a flat surface, but not on gravel or grass. Use a wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the front tires, lift the vehicle on the jack, and support the other end with jack stands. Disconnect the lug nuts on the front tires, and lay the tires and hardware aside.

Open the hood, and inspect the brake fluid level, because if fluid is low, it will take longer to bleed the brakes. Inspect fluid levels after each replacement.

Remove the Old Hose

You may have to replace one or both hoses, and the damage is often not visible from the outside unless there is a leak. Locate the hoses, which attach to the metal brake lines, and inspect them for damage.

A damaged hose will have visible holes, cracks, and they feel soft. If the front hose isn't damaged, reverse the jack and jack stands, and inspect the back wheel. 

Set a drain pan under the damaged hose, and don't remove, but loosen the top connection on the hose with the wrench, then slightly tighten to prevent leaks. Clean fluid spills with a rag.

Loosen the fitting on the brake caliper, which attaches to the metal discs under the brake pad. Carefully pull the small metal fastener from the mounting bracket. Completely detach the top connection and mounting bracket hardware, then disconnect the hose. Avoid getting brake fluid on rotors, brake pads, and paint.

Attach the New Hose   Attach one end of the hose back on the caliper aligning threads carefully, but don't tighten yet. Insert the top connection back into the bracket with the slot aligned.

Use your fingers to start tightening the nut on the top connection, then finish it with a line wrench. Hammer in the mounting clips you removed earlier, taking care not to hit lines, then tighten other connections. Don't make the connections too tight, or you may damage them. Bleed the brakes to remove air, then reinstall the tires. Continue reading for more info.