Q: Rusted brake line - 1999 Mercury Sable

asked by on November 17, 2016

I'd like to replace the brake steel pipes/unions (or brake lines, I've heard them called either one) myself. My mechanic has informed me after inspection that they are rusted through, and I've noticed the red brake sign flicker on the HUD near the odometer from time to time (very infrequently). I just went to Autozone to replace them but they need to know the size of the diameter. I have no jack or way to lift the car up so that I can measure them myself, but I figure that is easy info a Mercury Mechanic would know.

My car has 104000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. 3/16 inch diameter brake line tubing is used on virtually all cars and trucks made in the world. The more important issue is what type of end fittings you have and type of flare (bubble, inverted, etc.). That can be discovered on disassembly or with reference to the Factory Service Manual.

It is highly recommended that steel tubing NOT be used to replace defective brake lines. New steel tubing will corrode just like the old. However, if you replace the brake (and fuel, too) lines using DOT approved Ni-Copp tubing (or comparable), the lines will NEVER corrode again. Plus, Ni-Copp in 3/16 inch sizes is practically bendable by hand. Ni-Copp is incredibly easy to work with and the ductility of the material creates a perfect seal with minimal torque.

Ni-Copp is probably vended with pre-made ends to fit your application but if you desire to create your own flare ends FedHill sells an excellent flaring tool kit to make professional flares in Ni-Copp or steel tubing.

If you would like a certified professional to assist you with parts procurement, planning, and execution of your brake line repair, by all means contact YourMechanic.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Is there another name for the front disc brake dust shield on a 1982 Camaro? Everytime I search for them it only brings up rear dr

The part is variously referred to as "backing plates", "dust shields", "front rotor shields", and so forth. If you are looking for an inexpensive used set (left and right), I see a set presently listed on Ebay for $18. Search...

New rear disc rotor/Hub/Parking Brake

Hi there: In general, there are a few things that can cause the brake rotor and wheel to not spin freely after installing a new rotor. The first and most common is that the center hub is dirty, rusted or...

Air conditioning compressor stopped working

If the compressor was recently replaced and has stopped working then most of the time it is because a fitting was left loose and all of the refrigerant came out or there is a loose electrical connection. It is also...

Related articles

What Are Brake Pads Made of?
Brake Brake pads are an essential component of the braking system of your car. Every time you press the brake pedal, this force translates by way of a hydraulic system to the caliper. This caliper in turn pushes the brake...
Top 10 Brake System Issues Every Car Owner Needs To Know
Every driver should know how to check for problems with car brakes. Warped rotors, leaky brake hoses, and squeaky brakes are among the most common.
How to Replace an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) Fuse or Relay on Most Cars
Anti-lock brake systems have a fuse that fails if the ABS brake light is on or when the fuse is blown. The wheels may lock up if the ABS fuse is bad.