Rusting brake pipes - mal
Just wondering if todays cars are still made with steel brake pipes fitted.

Lives depend so much on the brakes you would think they would be
made of a material that does not rust, in fact I think there should be legislation to enforce this.

In my "bangernomics" days my local garage always used Kunifer pipes which is a material used in the marine/ofshore oil industry and is very resistant to salt attack.
Rusting brake pipes - John S

Most brake pipes these days are made of plastic coated steel. This gives better corrosion resistance than a plain steel pipe, although damage to the plastic coat will tend to promote local corrosion. That said, rusted brake pipes to tend to be much more rare these days. After market suppliers do provide copper or copper alloy brake pipes, but these generally haven't been taken up for OE use.

I'm not sure of the reason, as these would appear to be inherently more corrosion resistant. I wonder if there is still a cost benefit in favour of the coated pipes.


John S
Rusting brake pipes - Andrew-T
Being a softer metal, might copper be bit 'bouncy' under severe pressure than steel?
Rusting brake pipes - andy n
copper brake pipes are illegal in some countries due to the fact that copper can age harden and fracture best bet use good quality steel alloy pipes and coat with a wax based rust inhibitor such as lps 3/ dinotrol etc retreat every 12 months
Rusting brake pipes - IKM
On my 14 year old BMW 318i the rear brake pipes had to be replaced at the last MOT. The cost was almost £300 because the back axle has to be lowered to get access. This was a bit painful and is about one third of the value of the car. The garage owner advised me that the best treatment for older cars. is prevention, i.e. clean any corrosion from pipes and connections with a wire brush and apply thick oil or grease. This can be difficult and messy if you don't have the proper lifting gear but it could be an eventual cost saving to pay a garage to do the job.
Rusting brake pipes - IanT
On my one and a half year old Peugeot 309 (OK I'm talking about events in 1988) the rear brakes pipes had to be replaced due to rust. Since it was already out of its one year warranty, I replaced them with copper pipes for about £5 - £10 plus the cost of some brake fluid.

15 years later the copper pipes are unmarked, but "andy n" has now got me worried about their longevity.

Rusting brake pipes - bafta
Pure copper does not age harden. It only work hardens. Gilding metal does, although it consist mostly of copper. My point being that the question of age hardening and the extent to which this occurs will depend on the exact composition of the 'copper' pipes ie. the nature of the alloy. If they have been there for fiteen years I wouldn't start to worry now.
Rusting brake pipes - John S

Absolutely. Copper based alloys can work harden, not age harden. It's therefore important that copper brake pipes are well supported and not allowed to vibrate. Constant movement will induce work hardening and potential failure.


John S
Rusting brake pipes - mal
I was in a similar position with a Mitsubishi.

I was qouted a scary price at the dealers to have a brake pipe replaced which involved removing the petrol tank.I took it to my local garage and they said it was not not necessary to remove the tank but just to take the pipe along another route as he could gain access to the connections. This he did at a fraction of the dealer quote.

BTW the Kunifer I mentioned earlier is an alloy of copper,nickel,and iron.
Rusting brake pipes - Big John
Or Er indoors 19 year old polo, owned from new but recentley sold, all the metal brake pipes were original as they had been greased every year by myself. It should also be noted that they can also eventually rust internally it#f the brake fluid is not changed regularly.

I dont think there is anything you can do about the longevity of flexible brake hoses though?

Value my car