Brake lines are crucial to the hydraulic braking system of every vehicle. These are made as two different products that serve an array of a driver's needs and desires.
There are two types of brake lines commonly used in cars in 2009: the basic rubber brake line found in every vehicle that is installed at the auto manufacturer, and the steel-braided brake line, which is a rubber brake line wrapped in a steel mesh.
The basic brake line serves to hold and distribute brake fluid to the brakes on a vehicle. Steel-braided brake lines are a performance aftermarket addition where the steel mesh restricts the brake lines from swelling, thus creating a more responsive braking system.
The cost of brake lines can vary greatly depending on the vehicle make and model, but steel-braided brake lines will usually be an average of 30% more than basic OEM (original equipment manufacturer) brake lines.
Basic OEM brake lines are a cheaper option over the more costly steel-braided lines, but steel-braided brake lines can still be damaged, and the steel mesh makes finding a leak difficult.
Steel-braided brake lines are a performance modification and should not be installed on every vehicle, as they can drastically change the performance of the vehicle and can even void warranties on newer vehicles.
- Brake Handbook; Fred Puhn; 1987
- High-Performance Brake Systems: Design, Selection, and Installation; James Walker; 2007