Car wash broke a brake line? - Hyundai Forums : Hyundai Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Car wash broke a brake line?

Sooo I went to the car wash today, and I chose the option that washes the underbody. You basically pull in, and as you go over it, it blasts the underneath of your car with pretty strong water jets. Funny thing is, as it was going on all I could think was "****, this thing is pretty strong what if it breaks something?". Sure enough, I drive about a mile down the road to a grocery store, and come out 10 minutes later, and the brake pedal basically goes right to the floor. I stopped at a Autozone, pop the hood and the brake fluid was no where near the top so I bought more, filled it up, and drove a little ways down the road to a gas station to check it again to see if it was leaking or something, and sure enough it wasn't anywhere near full again.

Before today my brakes were fine. So my only guess is the car wash broke one of my brake lines. But I figured I'd get everyone else's opinions before I take it to the shop tomorrow.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:35 PM
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I've never heard of that happening, but I suppose if one of the rubber flex lines were fatigued and soft, a high pressure jet of water would have dealt it a death blow, you know like the "straw that broke the camel's back" scenario... Even if it WAS the car was that caused it, if it was that weak it was only a matter of time before it let loose anyhow.

I'd say save the money, buy a new hose and replace it yourself. BUT, after driving it and running it that low on brake fluid, there's air throughout the ENTIRE system now and without the proper tools and equipment, you'd never be able to bleed and get all the air out of the brake system and lines with ABS... Replacing a caliper and topping off the little bit of lost fluid and bleeding that line is one thing, but when air gets introduced into the ABS modulator, that's a whole new ball game.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:55 PM
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I don't see a location in your profile. I'm gonna guess your vehicle lives in the rust belt. The brake lines tend to rust where they are secured by the clips/brackets. If you peek under the car, you'd see the fluid accumulating on the black shield that covers the brake and fuel lines.

If this is the case, yes the car wash was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but by no means was it the actual cause.

or it actually was. don't know til it's inspected.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:59 PM
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I don't see a location in your profile. I'm gonna guess your vehicle lives in the rust belt. The brake lines tend to rust where they are secured by the clips/brackets. If you peek under the car, you'd see the fluid accumulating on the black shield that covers the brake and fuel lines.

If this is the case, yes the car wash was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, but by no means was it the actual cause.

or it actually was. don't know til it's inspected.
Yeah, and if there was a high pressure underwash it was probably the last straw. Chances are it just broke afterwards by coincidence.

Fill it up, find a clean spot on the driveway or parking lot, start it up and press the brakes and look for the puddle...

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 11:07 PM
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Old's Cool nailed it...

I will speculate north or north east car where rust a problem,, lines covered in chunk rust, wash if hard enough blew some scale off, and couple pedal application took advantage of weak spot,,

As noted, fill with DOT-3, have assistant work brake pedal, and watch for drips or streaming DOT-3 hitting ground..

Been there, done that.. I had fuel line (pressure) pin hole on me 1hr from home.. I drove like mad man down interstate to get home.. ended up replacing 5 lines under car just to be done with it.... fuel pressure, fuel return, 2 brake line, and vent line..... 89 Celica in summer 2002

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I live in Upstate NY, so lots of rust here. I bought the car used a few months ago, 2008 102k miles. The brakes were totally fine before today, no grinding or bad stopping power. Unfortunately I have no skill fixing things, wouldn't even know where to begin. So taking it somewhere is my only option. How much should I expect to pay if I just have them replace all 4 lines, and put new fluid in?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:15 AM
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The lines run quite extensively, had one break years ago located over the rear axle, a bear to get to and have replaced so this could be an easy fix or $$ depending on location. real issue will be how corroded the rest of the lines are that did not rupture this time but really should be replaced?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 12:28 PM
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Have someone inspect the car and find all broken and bad lines. As for replacing them with OEM - if you got the money, do it. Otherwise, do "retro" where you get a crimping tool and copper tubing and do retrofit.
Rubber - replace with OEM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 03:01 PM
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Have someone inspect the car and find all broken and bad lines. As for replacing them with OEM - if you got the money, do it. Otherwise, do "retro" where you get a crimping tool and copper tubing and do retrofit.
Rubber - replace with OEM.
And, if you do it yourself, use NiCop (Nickle/copper). You'll never have to do it again.

My Subaru had brake lines covered with rubber tubing. All except where they went over the fuel tank. You know, where sand and salt collect? Guess where they rusted through...

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:47 PM
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I live in upstate New York.
My car has around 117k miles on it.
The brake lines started leaking and then the master cylinder went with it
The brakes locked up. Tried to drive it five blocks to my house.
The rotors were burnt up and the brakes pads gone. The calipers destroyed.
And I was left with a very big paper weight sitting in the drive way.

Lots of money later, got it fixed.
If I didn't need the car and had the time to fix it then I would have done it myself.
Could have saved a hunk of change.

Anyway, you made the choice to have the underside of the car cleaned.
So, you paid for it ... in mores ways than one ... lol
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