Just like other braking components, the brake line is constantly exposed to extreme temperatures, pressure, and moisture. All these elements create a harsh environment that can easily cause cracks and corrosion on the tubing's surface. As such, the brake line is one of your car's frequently replaced components. If your vehicle is showing signs of a busted brake line, get a replacement right away. To help you determine the best type for your car, ask yourself this question: are you a speed demon or a regular Joe when on the road?
Regular tube for the average Joe
Your driving habits have a great effect on which type of brake line is perfect for your ride. If you use your car mostly for daily commutes, regular brake tubing that's made of rubber or metal alloys is a good bet. This type is made to withstand regular use, providing just the right amount of flexibility and durability.
Performance brake line for a speed demon
If you're a speed demon, a racer, or you own a street car, investing in a steel or braided steel brake tubing is a good idea. Now which type is best for you? Here's a lowdown on the pros and cons of each material type used in performance brake tubes:
Steel ? A steel line is more durable and therefore less prone to punctures and cuts when compared to a rubber tube. Since steel is a rigid material, a steel tube won't swell up even after years of exposure to liquid pressure. However, its main enemy is rust. And once steel tubes corrode, they have to be replaced as soon as possible. Its rigidity makes the connecting parts more prone to breakage especially when exposed to extreme force.
Braided steel ? This type is basically a soft tube that's enclosed inside a mesh made of braided steel strips. Its benefits include less stress on connecting parts because it's more flexible than a pure steel line. It's also effective in preventing swelling because of the steel strips. If you want a more stylish look for your brake assembly, the braided texture adds some oomph. As a matter of fact, many racers and street car owners dress up their brake assemblies with braided steel lines. But since the soft tube is placed inside a steel mesh, it can be hard to visually inspect it when looking for signs of damage.
Aside from rubber, metal alloys, and steel, other materials used for brake lines include carbon fiber, Kevlar, and even Teflon. However, brake lines made from these materials are more expensive. Once you've figured out the brake line material type that's perfect for your needs, buying a new brake line becomes an easier task.