What's the difference between steel and rubber brake lines?

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Your car’s brakes are pretty darn important. If you have lousy pedal feel, you should do something about that, right? Stopping is at least as important as going. So when you’re looking to fix or upgrade your brake system, should you go with rubber lines or jump up to steel brake lines? Engineering Explained is here to “brake” (hehe) it all down for you. 

The standard rubber brake lines found in most cars are cheaper than steel and don’t need to be pre-bent like the metal ones. It’s also easy to find and fix any leaks that might happen with rubber brake lines.

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Steel brake lines look fantastic but also offer a more firm feel to the brake pedal. This happens because the rubber brake line first expands a bit as you press down on the brake pedal. It takes a just a small interval of little time for this expansion to happen and then you get your full brake feel. It’s not a massive amount of expansion, and it’s also not a ton of time but there should be difference in reaction time if you were to try stepping on the brakes in the same car equipped first with rubber lines and then with steel braided lines.

That doesn’t mean that our host Jason Fenske necessarily recommends steel over rubber.

There’s a lot more to learn about when talking with rubber and steel lines. Check out the video above for a more complete explanation. Rest assured that Jason will break it all down in a manner that’s easy to understand.


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