Brake hose replacement cost varies by make and model and severity of corrosion
The brake lines that run from the master cylinder to each wheel are made from corrosion resistant steel. However, since the wheels must move up and down and the front wheels must turn, the final segment of each brake line is fitted with a flexible rubber brake line to allow for that movement. As the brake hose ages, it can develop leaks and blisters. Those leaks can’t be repaired—the brake hose must be replaced. Brake hose replacement cost is based on the cost of the part, ease of disconnection from the steel brake line, and the time involved to bleed air from the system after replacement. Here’s how brake lines and brakes hoses work and what affects brake hose replacement cost.
Brake line flare fittings
Brake lines must handle extreme pressure so all brake line splices or connections must also be capable of handling the high pressure. Metal brake lines connect using either a double flare or ISO bubble flare. Single flare connections can never be used in an automotive application because they can fail under pressure. Here’s what single, double and ISO bubble flares look like.
The brake line to brake hose connection and brake line bracket
A brake fitting is installed on the brake line before it’s flared. Then the brake line is screwed into a mating fitting on the brake hose. This connection must be securely mounted to the vehicle frame to prevent vibration and movement. Car makers install a brake line bracket and the brake hose fitting has a slot for a “U” shaped retaining clip.
The brake line and brake hose connects to the brake caliper
The opposite end of the brake hose connects to the brake caliper with a circular “banjo” fitting. The banjo fitting and a corresponding banjo bolt, along with two copper washers allow brake fluid to flow into the caliper under high pressure. The copper washers act as the seals.
Brake hose replacement cost
If the brake line to brake hose connection can be disassembled without damaging the metal brake line, the repair is fairly straight-forward. Simply remove unscrew the brake line fitting from the brake hose, remove the “U” shaped clip and disconnect the banjo bolt from the brake caliper. Then install the new brake hose in reverse order and bleed air from the system. Brake hose replacement cost generally runs between $125 to $245, depending on the labor rates in your area and the cost of the brake hose. The brake hose cost for performance and exotic vehicles is generally higher than for street vehicles.
Brake hose cost
Shops can choose a replacement brake hose from the dealer or aftermarket parts store. Here’s an example of the difference in price for this Ford Taurus front brake hose. The retail list price from a Ford dealer is around $50 while an aftermarket replacement hose made by a reputable brake parts manufacturer like Bendix, Raybestos or Centric, costs around $30 -retail.
In comparison, look at the price difference between a Land Rover brake hose from the dealer versus an aftermarket brake hose from a reputable manufacturer. The genuine Land Rover part retails for $165.27, while the aftermarket part retails for around $54 dollars.
Brake hose replacement labor cost
Brake hose replacement typically takes less than an hour to complete. Depending on the hourly shop rates in your area, labor should run between $70 and $125. However, if the metal brake line fitting has corroded and bonded to the brake line, the job will take much longer as the technician must loosen the corrosion. If the brake line fitting is corroded and the technician tries to force the connection apart, the brake line will twist, damaging the brake line. Repairing a twisted brake line can add another hour of labor to the cost of the job. In my experience, some lines are so corroded that it takes less time to install a new metal brake line than to disconnect the old corroded fitting.
©, 2017 Rick Muscoplat
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat