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Advice please re a failing brake hose (16 years old)

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I've owned my 2004 Corolla from new. I've just discovered I'm losing a little brake fluid due to a failing rubber brake hose on my near side rear wheel at the point where the hose is attached to the chassis. I've got 2 questions:

1. Would it be sensible to replace the brake hoses on all 4 wheels or is this a rare one off event and doing the other 3 would be overkill?

2. I've done brake bleeding in the past but I'm wondering if I should get my local garage to do the work on the basis that if the hose nuts are impossible to remove then I might be stranded without being able to drive the car to get professional help.

Any advice please?


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I would replace them all, if it were mine.  I would expect to find other things wrong with it. i.e. rusty brake pipes and siezed bleed nipples.  You might end up biting off more than you can chew. 

Maybe it's one for the experts.

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Been there , done that !!

1, Yes replace all 4 flexible hoses, they are equally old and prone to failure, a keen mot check point, standard rubber ones are not that dear.

2. a .Brake Bleeding is quiet easy if you use one of the many one man bleeding systems.  Have used the Gunson one for many years and never had a problem.  Usually find you need at least 1 ltr of fuild to do a full bleed.

   b.  Undoing those  rear hose joints can be very difficult as they get a lot of exposure.  Its actually the nut on the rigid brake pipe that screws into the cliip  secured flexible hose end that has to be undone so you need to be careful you do not damage the metal pipe.  You need a proper brake pipe nut spanner, (quiet cheap) if that fails/ rounds off, then a good pair of mole wrenches as a last resort.

  c. If doing it yourself, apply penetating fluid to the nuts several times over a day or so. 

    Yes, using a garage might be better as if they have trouble they should have brake line repair tools etc.  Equally its not such a  big diy job if you are confident about working on the brakes, and if you do find a nut that will not budge then thats the time to stop and go to the local garage.




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Stephen & Oldcodger thanks very much for your replies. I'm still in two minds as to whether to diy it or go to a local garage. I'm not under any time pressure to fix the car so I might start with just the defective hose. If I do, I'll have to invest in a quality brake spanner, Sealey appears to do good ones.

Do the hoses come with 2 x  copper crush washers or do you have to buy them separately?

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Yes, any decent brand spanner should be fine.

Think my flexibles came with new washers, but best to check with wherever you order from, as different suppliers may not,  got mine from Brakes International.

Before you do any removal, best to check the condition of your metal brake pipes , partic on the rears.

Its the last 30mm or so where the pipe meets the nut, it does not have any sleeving protecting it, just paint, so check if its got any bad rust there. A  mot check point .

If its just light surface rust  then you may be able to clean it up and seal, otherwise some new brake pipe needed, so more a garage job ?

Probalby worth getting a quote from a garage for replacing the flexibles at it  might not be any dearer than having to buy all the stuff needed to do it yourself ?

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I making this update for the benefit of novices who might be interested on working on their brake hoses & need to know the spanner & washer sizes.

The flare nut spanner needed to undo the metal pipe nut is 10mm. Advice on the web was to buy a 6 point one so I bought a  'Sealey VS0348 Brake Pipe Spanner 10 x 11mm'.It felt very secure in operation.

The banjo nuts each require 2 x M10mm copper crush washers. These were not included with the Pagid hoses I bought. Very oddly there were none in place on the one I dismantled!

The bleed screw needs an 8 mm ring spanner. I used Plus gas several times in advance of the work & had no issues when dismantling.

The other other comment to make is what pain it is having single piston brake calipers with sliding guide pins which stick. I now use an adjustable blade hand reamer (size 10mm - 10.75mm) which I find just the job to clean up the holes without enlarging them. I use this with brake cleaning fluid.

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Hi @Corolla2004,

Good info there, but a couple of points.

Feel sure the hose gaskets are there, just that they can crush so tightly onto the caliper face or the hose union  that you think its part of them, Doubt the joint would seal without the washer.

The slide bolts are a reguar trouble spot, but thats only due to years of maintenance neglect.

Once they have been cleaned or replaced, and lubricated with red  or silicone grease they are fine, providing you do a yearly service check on them, as you should be doing for pad and disc wear.


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You're absolutely right about there must be washers/gaskets . When I closely inspected the removed hose, I discovered two washers on either side of the banjo, joined by a strip to form a u shaped single item..

Now that makes more sense.

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Just to disgress a little, notice you also have an Auris in your household.

Have been thinking of getting a late model Auris, wondered how you feel about them compared to the Corolla, much the same or chalk and cheese  ?

Are they petrol or diesel ?

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My Corolla is a 2l manual diesel. A few years back when choosing another car I decided it had to be an automatic. My approach, by the way, is to buy a car & then keep until it falls apart.

That made me choose a Toyota hybrid as any other automatic's gearbox is far too complex compared to a hybrid's fixed sun & planets gears.

So you ask how do the 2 cars compare.

1. Both are hatchbacks but the Corolla has a much bigger boot. Now I would go for an Auris estate

2.The diesel Corolla is now on 143k miles has been very reliable apart from needing new glowplugs & clutches. Being old it hasn't got a DPR.  The fuel consumption is similar for both cars apart from motorway journeys where the diesel excels. Of course the automatic hybrid is doodle to drive in traffic

3. Otherwise they are very comparable with both having Toyota's trademark light controls and steering.

4. DIY maintenance on the Corolla is easy & I'm happy to do the Oil changes & disc/pads changes etc. For the Auris I like Toyota's extended warranty; which means a Toyota dealer does the maintenance for now.

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