Ford recently issued a recall for 1.3 million cars in the US over an issue with their front brake hoses. Should you be worried?
Leaky brake hoses might not sound like much, but they can lead to motor vehicle accidents if left unchecked. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 22% of collisions involving light vehicles in 2015 were related to brake-related issues. Any issue related to a vehicle’s brakes should be a cause for concern. Losing the ability to slow down for stopped traffic, pedestrians or dangerous road conditions can lead to catastrophic collisions with deadly results.
The risks of a leaky brake hose
Whenever a driver hits their car’s brakes, brake hoses send hydraulic pressure to the wheel cylinders and brake calipers to engage the brakes. If, for any reason, a leak forms, the loss of brake fluid could lead to total brake system failure – and increased collision risk.
By itself, brake fluid isn’t corrosive, but it can turn corrosive when its additives deplete over time. If a leak occurs in your car’s brake hose, you might want to err on the side of caution and have the rest of your vehicle checked for other issues.
How can you check for a leaky hose?
Brake hoses should last for about six years, but they can degrade quickly depending on how much stress they’re put into. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to check for a leaky hose:
- The brake warning lights on your dashboard are flashing
- There is a puddle of brake fluid forming under your car
- Pressing down on the brake pedal feels spongy
- The brake pedal drops to the floor when pressed down
Which cars are being recalled, and what should I do if my vehicle is one of them?
Ford’s recall affects drivers with Fusion and Lincoln MKX midsize cars from the 2013 to 2018 model years. If you are one of these drivers, expect a notification letter from the automaker starting April 17. Ford will send a second batch of letters once it has confirmed enough replacement parts for the affected car owners.
Whether you drive one of the named vehicles or not, be aware that brake issues can lead to fatal motor vehicle accidents.