NHTSA Provides Safety Tips for Brake Systems

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As we move into spring, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is offering three key suggestions to help owners of older cars and pickup trucks limit the amount of brake-system damage caused by the corrosive effects of road salt.

NHTSA says that for model-year 2007 vehicles and older, consumers should follow these three simple rules to help prevent the vehicles from experiencing a catastrophic brake line failure, especially for those vehicles in the Midwest and Northeast where road salt is used throughout the winter to help with keep roads open.

NHTSA recommends owners:

  • 1. Regularly wash and clean their vehicle, especially the undercarriage, after it's been exposed to road salt.
  • 2. Regularly check the vehicle's brake lines for any corrosion and keep an eye on all fluid levels.
  • 3. If owners find any flaking or scaling, replace the entire assembly.

For more information about which situations and circumstances could compromise the braking system on older vehicles, click here and here.

Cars.com image by Mark Williams




why 2007 and up? is it because the nnbs silverados and sierras rust easily?

This memo from Washington is like the propeller-hat crowd at the department of energy lecturing us a few years ago about keeping our tires inflated properly to save gas.

Typical government idiots. Yeah, all cars must have backup cameras, but we don't need brake lines to be safe. There is NO good reason they shouldn't be made to put Stainless or NicAlloy lines on every new car. I can't afford to go out and pay for an underbody car wash every week, all winter. I wonder if any of these NHTSA geniuses have ever lived in PA, or have actually gone out in the winter and wash the underside of their car in the driveway. I'm willing to bet ZERO, at least on the latter. Morons.

Hmm, my 2006 Subaru Outback was recalled for rusting brake lines. Had it inspected and sure enough no rust, cuz I wash it about once a week year round (I do live in a salt belt state).

The obvious thing about my post is " I wash my car", however, my Subaru was recalled for rusting brakes lines and GM trucks were not... Hmm....

are you saying that Ford has the brake lines on the outside of the frame is a great idea?

Hillary's Scooby Doo Van was parked in a handicapped space.
I'm confused?
The news media says Hillary's van is a GMC but on the picture it has the Chevy Gold Bow Tie on the front grill.
At least you have to give Hillary credit for owning an American Van.

Preventative maintenance................ Nice to see Uncle Sam has your back ;)

Was 2007 the year that de-icing chemicals came into full use? Those chemicals are a very corrosive.

This is common sense. My local car wash does spray the bottom. Doesn't cost that much to go to a booth and spray it. I also paint my under carriage when its getting maintenance. Keeps it looking good.

I replace my brake lines every three years weather they need it or not, better to be safe that dead.

Simple Green and Demineralized water in a spray bottle sprayed on the undercarriage. I'm from AZ so I don't see too much road salt, but I hate the red/iron heavy clay that gets caked onto everything.

Besides pissing off RAM fan boys - personally I would pefer Ford to buyout Chrysler/RAM - not a good idea to allow Volkswagon more growing world dominance than they already have....

Big Al, Fiat has done more for Chrysler then anyone could have imagined, why would you want them to go back to being owned by an American company with shoddy quality?

Yup..them there government people are some highly intelligent individuals..don't think most of us would have figured that out if they hadn't told us..

You have safety built into a brake system, the front and rear brakes have a separate fluid container so if the line breaks on the rear wheels you still have front brakes.
You also have a parking brake that uses cables as another back up if all the brakes fail.
Back in the 1960's they used to call it an emergency brake but it was re-named a parking brake after auto makers got sued cause it failed by using it in an emergency.

#1 rule: You have to be smarter than the vehicle you're driving meaning if you do lose your brakes you have to THINK of what to do next.

same way those idiots died when Toyota had sticking gas pedals they thought the vehicle would do their thinking for them and save them.

why is everybody so angry in here?
not only do I sense anger in the comments I read in here I see anger almost everywhere else. I admit that anger rubs off on me and I feel it too, but I don't want to be like that, I fight it. I think what it is too many people worry too much what other people are up too, I mean who cares if another guy owns a brand of truck you don't like? How does it effect or harm you?

@loco.. it says 2007 and older... not 2007 and newer...

The brake system is diagonally split. This was implemented before ABS became ubiquitous.
The parking brake is just that, meant to hold a vehicle once already stopped. Most are little drum brakes with little to no thermal capacity.
In the age of weight reduction, some parking brakes are going back to the practice of working over the service brakes.

My 08 Silverado has brake lines coated with some kind of black material,nylon probably,it's rust resistant..so do yourself a favor and buy a newer truck

Last time my brake line rusted was on 85 gm truck,,and I still stopped safely and drove to the garage to get it fixed,,
as every vehicle has dual master cylinder..

I think we should keep these safety tips for brake systems in our mind. It will be helpful to maintain best condition of our vehicle’s braking system.

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