How to Replace Front Hydraulic Brake Hoses


Brakes work under hydraulic pressure applied at the brake pedal. Fluid is pushed through steel brake lines that are routed to each wheel. The flexible brake hoses that connect the hard steel brake lines to the front brake calipers are susceptible to wear due to the up and down movement of the front suspension. Any time the vehicle is on a lift for routine maintenance, the flexible brake hoses should be checked and replaced if any cracks or checks are found.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire jack
  • Lug wrench
  • 2 jack stands
  • Penetrating fluid
  • Open end wrench (size according to your vehicle)
  • Tubing wrench (size according to your vehicle)
  • 2 flexible brake hoses
  • Brake fluid
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Use the vehicle's tire jack to jack up a front corner of the vehicle. Remove the wheel by removing the wheel lugs in a counterclockwise direction with the vehicle's lug wrench. Place a jack stand under the lower control arm suspension component and lower the tire jack so that the front of the vehicle is supported by the jack stand. Follow the same procedure for the other front wheel.

  • Spray penetrating fluid on the brake hose fittings at both ends and allow it to soak in for a few minutes. Use a standard open end wrench to hold the fitting while loosening the nuts on each end of the hose with a tubing wrench in a counterclockwise direction. Remove the brake hoses.

  • Install new brake hoses by tightening the nuts with a tubing wrench in a clockwise direction while holding the other end of the fitting with an open end wrench.

  • Open the hood of the vehicle and remove the master cylinder reservoir cap by twisting it off in a counterclockwise direction. Add brake fluid to the reservoir to bring the level to the "NORMAL" mark.

  • Bleed the brakes by opening the bleeder screw on the brake caliper closest to the master cylinder a few turns with an adjustable wrench in a counterclockwise direction. Have a helper pump the brake pedal a few times then close the bleeder screw by turning it clockwise. Repeat this step for the other front brake caliper.

  • Test the brake pedal and if it feels spongy, bleed the brake calipers again.

  • Replace the front wheels and tighten the lug nuts in a clockwise direction with the lug wrench. Raise each side of the front of the vehicle one at a time with the tire jack just high enough to slide the jack stands out front under the vehicle. Lower the vehicle and stow the tire jack and lug wrench.

  • Top off the master cylinder again if needed. Replace the master cylinder cap by twisting in in a clockwise direction. Close the hood.

Tips & Warnings

  • The fittings on brake hoses vary in size from vehicle to vehicle. A normal mechanics' tool kit should include the sizes needed.

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