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Question DetailsAsked on 9/27/2016

how much to replace driver side rear brake line on a 2003 oldsmobile alero

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I would check at NHTSA.gov to see if there is a recall on your car for that - 99-03 GM's in certain product lines have had a lot of corroded brakeline issues.


Depending somewhat on your local labor costs of course, and on whether the metal line (runs along the axle) or the rubber flex line (from metal line to brake calipers or drum as applicable, if you have a rubber line on the rear - not all vehicles do), probably about $25-50 parts and $100-150 labor in normal labor cost areas for one wheel repair. Cost could be about 50-100% more if you go to a GM/Olds dealer.


Not a tough job to do, but the air bleeding has to be done right or that brake will be spongy, so I would NOT recommend going to some muffler or oil change place - go to a fully accredited service shop using ASE certified mechanics, or a Dealer as you prefer.


Auto Repair would be your Search the List category to find a well-rated and reviewed shop.


My recommendation - if this failure was due to corrosion rather than being hit by road debris, I would consider at least replacing the brake lines on the rear axle, the flex line connecting that to the main brake lines, and both side rear lines while in there - cost probably about $50-100 more in parts (twice that if from dealer) and maybe 50-100% more in labor - but some peace of mine knowing the other side is not ready to go out. Whether front lines or the main lines running from axles to brake system in the engine compartment need replacement depends on corrosion (on metal lines, especially if they use road salt in your area) and weathering (rubber lines). If rear ones have weathered to failure it is likely all your brake lines need replacement - which can run in the $1000 range typically - $1500-2000 at dealer. This is for the lines only -not new brakes or calipers or drums or master cylinder - just the lines from master cylinder to the wheels.

Occasionally the bleeder is so rusted that the cylinder or caliper it is connected to has to be removed to drill out the bleeder and rethread and put a new one in - that can run an additional couple to few hundred $ typically at a normal shop, so be prepared for a possible sticker shock on that. Also, in some states (mostly the northeast ones with mandatory safety inspections every year or two) it is illegal to repair a failed brake system part but leave other damaged parts in - so the shop may say they cannot fix just that, but have to redo some or all of the brake system from front to back for a thousand or two, if badly rusted. I know my vehicles needed total replacement of brake and fuel lines and master and wheel cylinders after only about 4-1/2 years in an ice-using state - about $300-500 in after-market parts alone (probably $1000+ at dealer), would have been well towards the $2000 range for each vehicle had I not done it myself.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD




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