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How do I fix a brake line quickly?

I just found out my brake line is leaking, and the towing company quoted me over $100 to bring it to a mechanic 18 miles away. I can’t afford that right now. How do I fix a brake line quickly and safely, just temporarily so I can get to the mechanic?

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Matt Terzi · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
We don’t want to recommend this as a method to fix a brake line quickly, but it is a temporary, short-term solution that can get you to the mechanic as long as that’s your only stop and it isn’t too far away. Attempt this at your own risk, and please drive carefully if you try it!
You’re going to need an adhesive, like tape or rubber cement, to patch the leak in the brake line.
  • Rescue Tape is a very popular product a lot of DIY car repair fans keep in their glove box or trunk.
  • Some drivers have also used duct tape or electrical tape, with mixed results.
  • Most auto parts stores carry a special hydraulic system or brake system patching glue that can help. 
Keep in mind: Be careful none of this gets into the brake line, as it can cause serious damage to other components.
Driving with leaky brake lines is very, very dangerous. The most important thing to remember here is that you need to get to the mechanic safely and immediately, and drive like someone’s great-great-grandparents are surfing on the hood. Drive slowly, brake gently, and don’t make any unnecessary stops along the way.
MORE: What to do if you have a car breakdown away from home
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