Is It Safe To Drive With A Broken Brake Line?

Is It Safe To Drive With A Broken Brake Line?

Driving your vehicle should be safe and smooth all the way, whether you are traveling interstate or buying groceries at the supermarket.

As you drive your vehicle regularly, maintenance should be a top priority for you and one of the most important components you should never overlook or take any chances with is your car’s braking system.

In Short: NO! It’s never safe to ever drive with a broken brake line. It would be irresponsible for anyone to drive a car with a broken brake line as they are putting not just their lives, but the lives of other people at risk.

The brake line is an integral part of a vehicle’s braking system. Brake lines should be inspected and maintained properly on a regular basis because the vehicle’s safety operations heavily depend on them.

Signs of a Broken Brake Line

There are some things that can cause a broken brake line such as moisture getting to the steel causing corrosion, road salt causing corrosion, impact from a car crash, etc.

When there’s a broken brake line, there are signs you will notice and must pay attention to. Some of them include:

1. Reduced Brake power

Always observe how your brake pedal responds to pressure whenever you are driving your vehicle. Whenever you step on your brakes, you should feel some sort of resistance. If you don’t feel this, there’s a problem, and you should fix it.

 If you have to press the pedal to the extreme or having issues stopping your vehicle, then the brake lines are faulty. If you experience this, you should park and tow the vehicle to the auto mechanic and have it fixed. 

2. Brake Light Shows On Dashboard

Anytime you notice your brake light is on, you should know the braking system needs urgent attention. This light comes on when the brake fluid is low in the master cylinder, or if there is a hole or crack in the brake line causing brake fluid to leak.

The low brake fluid in a vehicle mostly indicates a damaged brake line. If this shows on your dashboard, you should take it to the auto shop for further inspection immediately.

3. Brake Fluid Leaks

Brake fluid can be seen on the ground if it leaks. It is clear yellow when it is new and brown if it is old. If you see any leakages under your vehicle, you should check the brake fluid tank for likely fluid leaks as it can cause a broken brake line.

driving car
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

What To Do When There’s A Broken Brake Line While Driving

If the brake line of your car breaks while your car is in motion, here are some things you should do:

1. Pump the brakes

A car’s braking system has two circuits; front/rear and diagonal (right front/left rear and left front/right rear). If a brake line blows, only one circuit will be affected while the other circuit continues to work.

You can pump the brake pedal repeatedly to build up pressure in the brake lines to give you some braking action. Though it won’t give you full braking ability, it will give you enough to control the vehicle and be able to park it in a safe spot.

However, If the two circuits blow, the result is most likely going to be disastrous. This is why you should take your car regularly to the mechanic to have it serviced.

2. Pull Over

This should be the next thing on your mind if you notice a fault in the braking system of your car.

Never continue driving your vehicle even if there is a little hole in the brake line. Make sure you park your vehicle at the first safe place you see and wait for a towing company to tow it away.

Don’t take chances and continue driving the vehicle hoping to get home or the auto mechanic shop with it as it is extremely dangerous.

3. Never Pull The Emergency Brake

Even though brakes were designed to slow down or stop a moving vehicle, the emergency brakes in cars weren’t designed for such a purpose.

The purpose of the emergency brake is to prevent a vehicle from moving or rolling over from a fixed position. It was not created to be used for a vehicle in motion.

An emergency brake works by locking the rear wheels which can make the vehicle spiral if used in motion thereby causing extensive damage to the braking system or worst case scenario, leading to a fatal accident.

Final Thoughts

Just like we’ve stated earlier, you should never take chances with your car’s braking system as they are one of the most important components of your car. The brakes of a car play a huge role in the safety of the driver and passengers.

Whenever you get any warning about your car brakes on the dashboard or hear any sound coming from any part of the braking system, you must visit your mechanic to diagnose the issue and get it fixed.

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