The Average Cost for Brake Line Replacement Is $81-$190, Depending On if You Go to the Mechanic or DIY.
This price range is based on national averages for all vehicles and does not factor in taxes, fees, or your particular make and model. Related repairs or maintenance, such as brake hose replacement and brake pad replacement. For a more accurate estimate based on your make, model, and location, use the RepairPal Fair Price Estimator.
Cost at the Mechanic: $156-$190
- Parts: $81-$96
- Labor: $75-$95
A single brake line replacement should take a professional between one to two hours. If more than one brake line needs replacement, it will take longer. While there’s no set timeline for how often you should replace your brake lines, they should be replaced immediately once they stop working.
A mechanic has access to special tools, such as flaring kits to easily create new brake lines, and a lift to get under the vehicle more easily, as well as the training to use them. It may well be worth taking your car to a shop to get your brake lines replaced instead of attempting it yourself, especially if you need them fixed quickly.
Cost to DIY: $81-$96
If you choose to DIY you’ll save money on labor, but it will likely take more time. You will also need to buy or rent special tools to work on brake lines. If you don’t have access to these tools, the project could end up costing you more than taking your vehicle to a mechanic.
Keep in Mind
These costs are for one brake line. If you need multiple brake lines replaced, the cost can be much higher. If you plan to replace your brake lines yourself, be sure to choose the right parts to fit your vehicle. There are also different quality levels with brake lines. Performance cars might have stainless steel brake lines, which are stronger and more resistant to heat but are also more expensive. When in doubt, always refer to your owner’s manual to choose the best brake lines.
What Is a Brake Line?
The brake line connects the master cylinder to the brake caliper or wheel cylinder at each wheel of the vehicle. When you press the brake pedal, the brake line sends brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brake calipers and wheel cylinders, bringing you to a stop. Most of the brake line is a metal tube, but since your wheels turn and move up and down with the suspension, a flexible hose connects the far end of the metal brake line to the caliper or wheel cylinder.
What Does Brake Line Replacement Include?
If a brake line is blocked or leaking, it will need to be replaced. The mechanic will remove the tire and wheel assembly, then disconnect the failed brake line from the system. They will remove the damaged brake lines and install the new ones. Then, the mechanic will put everything back together, add brake fluid, and bleed the brakes.
The type of brake lines your vehicle has will also affect the brake line replacement cost. Stainless steel brake lines are more expensive than rubber brake lines, but enthusiasts often upgrade to them for a firmer brake pedal feel. Stainless steel brake lines are also much more resistant to heat, which is important in high-stress conditions like driving on a race track. Most cars don’t need special brake lines for day-to-day driving, but it’s important to replace brake lines with the same type the vehicle already has.
What Happens If You Don’t Get a Brake Line Replacement?
Driving with a broken brake line can be dangerous. When the brake line springs a leak, you might notice symptoms such as the red BRAKE warning light on your dashboard will light up, which is a sign that your brake fluid level is low. You might also notice that the brake pedal goes easily all the way to the floor when you press it, rather than giving you a good deal of resistance. You might also see leaking brake fluid under your car. If you continue driving with a faulty brake line, it could lead to a complete loss of braking power.
The brakes are extremely important to your vehicle and your safety. Brake lines should be replaced before driving the vehicle again.
How Often to Get Brake Line Replacement
There’s no set timeline for having the brake line replaced. However, if you notice signs such as loss of braking power or the vehicle pulling to one side, it’s best to have the vehicle towed to a shop. Older vehicles are more likely to have brake line problems, particularly vehicles in northern areas that salt their roads in the winter, causing rust. Some people spray a rust protectant underneath their vehicles to protect them from rust. Frequent car washes can also help remove rust-causing dirt, debris, and salt.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle’s brake lines checked at 100,000 miles. Always refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for maintenance schedules.
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Common Symptoms You Need a Brake Line Replacement
Signs that you need new brake lines include:
- Brake warning light
- Loss of braking power
- No pressure on the brake pedal when pressing it
- Vehicle pulling to one side
- Leaking brake line
- Bent brake line
- Rusted brake line
Related Maintenance Services
The following services are commonly performed with a brake line replacement:
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