When it comes to choosing a brake hose for your car, you may find yourself faced with an impossible dilemma: many of the available styles of hose provide similar results, but with enough variation in performance, capability, durability and cost to create a nightmarish choice. However, this guide will help you to decide what kind of hose is best suited to you.
Steel vs Rubber
The difficulty in choosing brake hoses comes first from the range of materials available – most notably, the distinction between braided steel brake hoses and rubber brake hoses. While rubber brake hoses are fitted as standard in the vast majority of vehicles – including performance vehicles and luxury cars – many people still prefer to fit steel braided hoses to their brake lines instead, considering them to provide superior performance. While this has been hotly contested, steel brake lines are still a common aftermarket addition.
Are you fitting brake hoses to a vehicle which is likely to suffer intense physical action, such as an off-road 4-wheel-drive, a construction site vehicle or an agricultural vehicle? If so, then it may be wise to install braided steel brake lines, which are more capable of resisting tearing or impact damage than their rubber counterparts. With that said, rubber brake lines are still very resistant to damage and have long lifetimes in dynamic flexible environments.
A concern with rubber brake lines is that the extensile material from which they are made will result in expansion under pressure – in layman’s terms, that the brake line will expand when you try to brake, blowing up like a balloon under the pressure exerted by the brake fluid. Tests have shown this expansion to be minimal – under double the braking force exerted in a hard braking situation, the expansion levels between a new rubber brake line and a braided steel brake line only had a difference of 0.7%, according to tests by AutoSpeed.com. In an ordinary situation, or even a hard-braking scenario involving performance cars, a rubber brake hose may be more thancapable to provide the braking power needed.
When choosing brake lines for your car, you should consider whether the aftermarket brake line you are purchasing is actually street legal – traditionally, many braided steel brake lines are not. However, many new models of steel brake line are perfectly fine – make sure to check before making your purchase or use a trusted provider. At BrakeQuip, only the finest high-quality braided steel brake lines are for sale, and they are all street legal, so you don’t need to worry.
Usually, braided steel brake lines are slightly pricier than their rubbery rivals, but for many enthusiasts, the increased durability and performance of a steel line more than makes up for the price hike. For others, who consider the performance differences to be negligible and don’t require the enhanced endurance as they will be driving on roads, a rubber line is more cost-effective.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. You’ll need to weight your options against your needs and requirements to find something that works well for you, but if you need help deciding, the experts at BrakeQuip are always there with advice and information. Just call them on 01257 220010 today!