Brake Hose Tips & Facts

Some Facts About Brake Hoses:

  1. The average life of a brake hose is six years.
  2. Brake hoses deteriorate from the inside as well as the outside.
  3. Moisture is absorbed into brake fluid systems through brake hoses.
  4. Contaminants in brake fluid act abrasively on the inner wall of brake hoses.
  5. The brake hose reinforcing fabric deteriorates through expansion and moisture.
  6. High operating temperatures contribute to the deterioration of hoses
  7. Brake hoses swell with age and restrict flow.
  8. Generally all brake hoses on a vehicle deteriorate at the same rate, So all hoses should be replaced if one is found to be faulty!

Checking and testing for faulty brake hoses:

The most effective way to check for faulty brake hoses is when they are under extreme pressure. WHY?
Brake hoses could appear "OK" but it's when they are subjected to extreme pressure in an emergency that they need to be in good condition to handle the stress.

Most braking systems with booster assisted brakes obtain pressures of approximately 1500 psi.

The best method to test hoses is to have the engine running for maximum boost, and have someone pumping the brake pedal while the hoses are inspected.

Hoses are inspected visually and by feeling the hoses.

Visual Inspection: The things to look for are:

  1. Cracks in the outer "skin" of the hose. (hoses may need to be bent for this test)
  2. Blisters or bubbles in the hose.
  3. Chafe marks from where it has been rubbing against something.
  4. Any wet marks where a hose is starting to leak.
  5. Any obvious bulging or expansion of the hose.
  6. Loose hose mounts or twisted hoses.
    *All brake hoses have two continuous lines of printing on the hose to make it easy for the installer to indicate if the hose is twisted.

Feeling the hose: What to feel for:
(The best way to get the "feel" is to feel a new hose first)

  1. Hard and Stiff hoses.
  2. Expansion (This should be hardly noticeable)
  3. Soft and weak hoses.

Troubleshooting problems associated with brake hoses:

  1. Low or spongy pedal  This problem is usually associated with a hose that is old, soft and weak which allows the hose to expand under pressure.
  2. Pulling to one side Usually caused by one of the front hoses being blocked or restricted.
  3. Brake Drag Can be caused by a restricted hose(s).
  4. Intermittent Brake Problems This problem can be caused by a hose with an internal fracture creating a one way check valve effect.

Determining the length of a hose:

Except for a hose with a Banjo fitting, all hose length are determined by measuring the extreme points.
When measuring the length of a hose with a banjo fitting, the measurement is taken from the centre of the banjo bolt hole.

Wide Bay Brake Hose Service ABN 48 489 772 675
23 Dreamtime Avenue, Burrum Heads, QLD, 4659
Phone: 0407 644 583 or 07 4129 5548 After Hours
24 Hr Fax: 07 4129 5920   VoIP: 07 5406 1189