2007 Jeep Wrangler Brake Line Replacement
Mark: Good morning. It's Mark Bossert here with Bernie Pawlik and the Pawlik Automotive Podcast. We're broadcasting from Vancouver, BC and we're talking cars. How are you doing this morning, Bernie?
Bernie: Doing very well.
Mark: So, today's victim is a 2007 Jeep Wrangler that had a metal brake line replacement. What was going on with this Jeep?
Bernie: Yeah, so the owner ... We'd actually just had this vehicle in for service recently and the owner called back and said, after I picked my vehicle up, I noticed this chemical smell coming out of under the hood, and the brake warning light came on. And I thought, okay, it's kind of odd because we'd just done an A service on the vehicle which is an oil and filter change, basic inspection. And we do look around the vehicle. So, any leaks and that sort of thing we noted. Looked at the fluids. All fluids were full. But I suspected, maybe when our technician did the service, maybe when he took the rad cap off, sometimes it's under pressure, a little bit of antifreeze leaks out, causes a bit of an odour. I thought maybe that's what was going on. So, that's basically why the vehicle came in. Chemical smell and the brake warning light on.
Mark: So what did you find was causing the owner's concerns?
Bernie: Yeah, so the first thing I did, I looked under the hood, didn't see any leaks. But I did notice the brake fluid level was exceptionally low. It took a lot of brake fluid to fill the master cylinder up. Which was very odd because when we did the inspection, the fluid level was full. So when we did the inspection and left our shop, there was no issue with that. I looked under the vehicle, I could see, oh, there's brake fluid leaking from one of the metal lines down below the master cylinder. And on further inspection, I could see that it had actually been spraying out of this small pinhole leaks in the metal line right onto the exhaust system. So there's the chemical smell right there. So, that's what we found. So this line had just ruptured. It's kind of one of these weird things. We get this, oh, ever since you worked on the car, this happened. Well, sometimes we do make mistakes. But a lot of times there's just weird coincidences on cars. And this happened to be one of them. It just happened that the moment she picked the car up, this brake line decided to burst. And that's what happened.
Mark: Any idea why, what caused the break line to rupture?
Bernie: Well, I'm going to say it's a manufacturing defect. And let's just look at some pictures here and then talk about that a little more.
So you can see the Jeep, our nice 07 Jeep Wrangler here in great shape. Well taken care of. Our owner of this vehicle takes good care of this vehicle. Outside and in, and mechanically. So there's the leak that we found. So this is looking ... Actually, I'll just go back to the picture of the Jeep again. So, the actual line in question is right here. The brake master cylinder sits up here. There's an ABS brake unit here. A lot of metal brake lines, and they all kind of run down the vehicle off to their respective wheels. And there's the two that run to the rear wheels, go right down in this fender area. So that's where this next picture is of, so this is just looking in the left front wheel. You can see a fluid leakage, quite a lot of brake fluid here and you can see a bit of rustiness on this brake line.
Now again, as I said, I mean when we do an A service, we have the vehicle up on a hoist. We look around. Stuff like this would be very evident. We'd be pointing it out immediately to the owner. So kind of unfortunate, but it kind of just burst right after it was brought ... After delivering to them. Here's a couple other closeups. So this is the line removed. You can see it's basically a plastic coated brake line. So they did their work from the factory to try to prevent rust corrosion. But for some reason, you can see little cracks in the line. And the line is bulged under the plastic. I actually took it on a wire wheel and just ground ... Basically removed the plastic. You can see the metal underneath is completely pitted and rotted. And this is the area of the leak right here. So why it happened? I would say probably a manufacturing defect.
Somehow, something must have caused the line to corrode. Sometimes break lens will be near a ... Say they'll be underneath the battery and you'll have battery acid leaking out. Or the vehicle is driven and very salty road conditions. But none of that's the case. This vehicle is from Vancouver, there's very little road salt used around here. And metal brake lines generally lasts a long time. Back East in the US and Canada where there's a lot of road salt, brake lines will corrode much faster. So, don't really know for sure what happened. I say it's really strange because it's a very thick plastic coating on here. But there must have been something underneath here at the factory that just caused it to sort of eat away at the line.
Mark: So what's involved in replacing? And is it just this line, or did you replace all the lines?
Bernie: No, the other ones look fine. I mean, I did a visual inspection. If you noted in that picture there was two lines running beside each other. I did a visual inspection of the other line. It looks perfectly normal. None of the bulging that was evident on this particular line. So, I mean it's possible there could be something festering underneath. But at this point there's no reason to change it. But basically what was involved is replacing this particular brake line. And this line runs from the ABS brake unit, just in front of the master cylinder along the frame rail to the left rear wheel. So we replaced the line, completely removed the old line, replaced the whole complete line with a brand new line. We custom make it, bend it, flare the ends, that's the best way to have a solid line. I mean, it could be replaced in just a piece. You could replace just a portion of it. But why bother when, who knows what's further down the line that's hidden that we see further down the line. That's funny how that kind of came out. But literally further down the line. So yeah, it's better just to replace the line complete. And we're 100% sure it works.
Mark: So, this Jeep is now 10 years old, how are they for reliability and repair ability?
Bernie: Yeah, they're pretty good. There's things like the front end parts on Jeeps tend to wear out perhaps a little faster than they could. Some oil leaks and things that occur, but overall it's a pretty good vehicle. The owner hasn't spent a ton of money on this thing. It's been pretty good. There's been a few repairs, but just generally it's been pretty good.
Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for any kind of repairs for any kind of problems with your brakes. Or you just need a really reliable mechanic in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them at 604-327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to call and book ahead. They're busy. Or check out the website, PawlikAutomotive.com. The YouTube channel, Pawlik Auto Repair. And of course, thank you so much for listening to the podcast. We appreciate it. Thanks Bernie.
Bernie: Thanks Mark. And thanks for watching.