Upgraded brake lines help to create that enhanced “driver feel.” The upgrades usually involve enhanced hose systems like integrated metalized components or more exotic materials like Kevlar.
A typical vehicle’s brake lines rely on flexible rubber hoses. This is cost-effective and “good enough” for the manufacturer. But if you want better track performance or a better-than-average driving experience on the road, consider upgrading.
What Are Stainless Braided Brake Lines?
Stainless braided brake lines have a rubberized core wrapped in a metalized flexible sheath. The design directs pressurized hydraulic fluid away from a storage reservoir and toward a set of brake calipers.
This fluid movement activates a caliper piston complex that drives a set of brake pads against the system’s brake rotors, which creates friction to stop the car.
Why Are Stainless Braided Hoses Necessary?
In daily driving, heavy braking is rare, which is why non-metalized hoses are generally acceptable. However, in performance driving, hard braking is necessary for controlling speed, which means more pressure on brake lines. Rubber brake lines will fail in this setting.
Repeated over-pressurization wears rubber hoses out. You’ll see leakage and reductions in pedal effectiveness. Stainless braided hoses don’t expand under heavy use like rubber hoses can. (By the way, if you’re interested in swapping out hoses, read this.)
How Do They Improve A Vehicle?
Stainless braided hoses produce a better “pedal feel.” It is easier to control a car’s speed when the brake pedal is stiffer.
What Brands Of Brake Lines Are Typically Stocked By Aftermarket Sellers?
While there are host of manufacturers offering stainless braided brake lines, there are two particular brands that stand out:
Stoptech – These components are particularly well designed and offer the performance customer confidence right out of the box. You’ll get significant resistance to pressure expansion, thereby enhancing a system’s integrity, even given constant exposure to highly-corrosive, high-density brake fluids.
Goodridge – Similarly to Stoptech in quality, Goodridge showcases a number of premium values including:
- Marginalizes brake line expansion under heavy braking
- A Goodridge Forever Guarantee
- Specific lines, brackets, and fittings by vehicle type
- Line pressures bench-tested to up 3,000 PSI
Common Signs Of Brake Line Failure
There are a number of tell-tale signs that suggest brake line problems. If you notice one of the following, take action immediately.
Obvious leak of hydraulic fluid – If you find fluid on a rotor-surface or fluid on the ground adjacent to rotor path, it is likely from the hose fittings or from the hoses themselves.
Longer brake pedal – If it feels like a longer pedal stoke than normal, this could be a leak in the fluid containment system, i.e. fittings or a hose itself.
Vibration when braking – If you brake hard and feel a lot of vibration in the pedal, this can suggest a brake line failure. It can be confusing since this is also an ABS characteristic. If you’re not sure, talk to your mechanic.