View Full Version : Mechanics Thread

April 19th, 2009, 04:02 AM
in the eighties brake lines use to be aluminum but in the nineties the auto industry started using steel.

very bad move, today i almost was in a serious accident trying to stop at a red lite with my whole family in the vehicle !

apparently the line rusted and bursted as applied brakes.

good thing the light has just changed or i would have entered into moving intersection traffic, i made it threw the light with a few people honking at me, everyone is alive and no accident, thank goodness.

the line i need to replace is five footer, the nut fittings are so rusted i may need to use my torch and some ultra penetrating lubricant just to brake them lose.

April 19th, 2009, 04:41 AM
I can't remember any automobile in mass production using inferior aluminum brake lines. That's just asking for trouble. Aluminum would rub through quicker than steel and would not be able to withstand the pressures that brakes produce on a regular basis over 20 years or more.

If your steel brake lines failed due to the fact that they were rusted through then my opinion is that you need to have your vehicle looked over carefully right now and continue to have a qualified technician service your vehicle on a regular basis.

It may be time to get rid of a vehicle that is so rusty that a brake line rusts through to the point of leaking and then possible total failure.

Maybe it's time to sell the vehicle with the rusted brake parts and invest money in a modern/rust free vehicle to transport your family in.

If safety is a primary concern, take better care of your car. Have someone who knows what they are doing look your car over and repair whatever they tell you to repair.

Remember that driving a car is not a privilege, but a luxury. If you cannot afford proper vehicle maintenance to the point that you not only endanger yourself, your family and other innocent people's lives in a vehicle that has a brake system that is not properly maintained.

Stop blaming your lack of proper vehicle maintenance for the wreck that could have claimed a person's life.

Come on, Dude! Be responsible. Keep your vehicle maintained professionally. It saves lives, and one of the lives you save could be your own.

If you live in the northern US or an area of the world where your car is exposed to road salt or for some reason the vehicles in your area rust prematurely, then please do us all a favor and buy a new car every year.

What if you had killed someone else because you have a poorly maintained vehicle?

April 19th, 2009, 04:42 AM
Had the same thing happen to me about 1 1/2 years ago. I had to stop for a red light and the pedal hesitated then went to the floor, and I almost rear ended a car. I rode the emergency brake the rest of the way home.

Edit: Damn steveneddy, what kind of job do you have that allows you to buy a new car every year? There is nowhere that uses so much salt to justify a new car every year. And do you honestly check your car tires for proper pressure, make sure the oil level is ok and check you brake lines every time you go out?

There is an ideal way of doing things, but there is always a more practical way to do things as well.

April 19th, 2009, 04:48 AM
thanks for tearing me down, i feel bad enough that i am an experienced mechanic and failed to notice the braking point on my brake line.

i have no excuse nor will i make one up.

in this situation i have an 89' g20 van that has all aluminum lines, they never failed, that was my initial point.

in fact they are still clean but everything else metal is falling apart, much rather have my doors fall off then to experience bursting brake lines.

April 19th, 2009, 04:03 PM
I am more safety conscious than others I will admit, and yes, I can enjoy a new vehicle every 2-4 years.

Yes I check my tires air pressure at every fill up (I do this at home, I own my own air compressor) I check my engine oil every 2-3 days for oil level and condition. I change the engine oil filter 1000 miles into the oil change and typically change the oil at 2500-3500 miles.

I either check my vehicle twice a year myself or by a professional technician. I flush the brake fluid once a year and check the metal brake lines for wear at every mounting point.

I take driving my vehicles seriously. I take pride in the condition of my vehicles. I do have a couple of older vehicles and they are in tip top shape.

One word to the OP, I still don't believe that the brake lines on your 1989 Van are aluminum, although I could be wrong, but I doubt it, and if there is a brake line rusted through, your vehicle may have an abnormal amount of rust on it already and I would suggest having all of your metal brake lines and rubber brake hoses changed immediately and have the brakes themselves looked at.

If the vehicle is that rusty that a brake line will fail due to a rust issue, it may be time to scrap the car and invest in a newer model with less rust.

April 19th, 2009, 04:41 PM
Aluminium does corrode, too. The aerospace industry would very much like it to be otherwise, but it ain't.

April 19th, 2009, 06:02 PM
In over 30 years of professional employment as an auto/truck mechanic and shop supervisor, I have never seen OEM metallic brake lines that were made of anything but steel. During routine maintenance, visual inspection of brake line condition, as well as fuel and other tubing, is normal industry practice with replacement as required (especially with vehicles more than 10 or so years old). Rubber brake lines e.g. those used at front wheels may require replacement after just a few years.

I supervise a truck fleet repair shop and we have many vehicles that were manufactured in the early 90s and late 80s. We stock replacement brake and fuel lines for these vehicles because they do eventually corrode to an unsafe condition. Any vehicle from the 90s needs to be inspected more carefully than something that is just a few years old.