The brakes in your car work through hydraulics. When you press down on the brake pedal, it compresses a cylinder, which moves liquid under pressure through the brake hydraulic lines and hoses. That process moves the brake pads, causing your car to stop. Because these systems are under so much pressure, they can develop leaks, especially in the softer rubber portions of the brake lines that lead to the pads. If you notice a leak in this area, you need to repair the brake line as soon as possible. A temporary fix can get you a few miles down the road to a mechanic.
Step 1 — Place the car in park in a flat area.
Step 2 — Locate the split brake line. Brake fluid is tinted red so you can easily spot leaks.
Step 3 — Clean the brake line as thoroughly as possible. You can use fresh brake fluid to wash off the line. Be careful about cleaning around the split, because you don’t want dirt to get into the brake system.
Step 4 — Cut out the damaged portion of the hose with a knife or a sharp pair of scissors. Try to keep the portion of the hose you’re cutting out short; you’ll need as much hose left as possible to reconnect. Cover the ends of the cut line with plastic to prevent dirt from seeping in.
Step 5 — Take the cut portion of the hose to a hardware, plumbing or auto parts shop. Use this to size a replacement coupling to connect the two portions of the hose you just cut. You’ll also need two hose clamps that will fit around the hose.
Step 6 — Insert one end of the coupling into the hose. Secure with the hose clamp.
Step 7 — Insert the other end of the coupling into the other brake hose. Secure with a hose clamp.
Step 8 — Top off the brake fluid in the engine compartment. The brake fluid container will be toward the back of the engine, in front of the driver’s seat. As noted in Step 2, brake fluid is tinted red.