99 Ford Contour Advice?

Hi, my brakes went out yesterday, and coasted into the nearest shop. I received a call from the shop today about the brake problem. They told me that the brake line rusted out/through. The price will be $400 to repair, however since the brakes lines are crossed, and if the car needs new brakes and calipers and air pumped out of the line the cost could be over $1,000. They will not know for sure until they take the parts off of the car and they told me that they have to fix the car if it needs the additional parts and the price will be over $1,000.
I looked over my records and I had the brakeline replace in December 2013, because of loss of brakes.
Is it time to get rid of the car for this price of $1,000 to repair? I mean they could not give a definitive price.
Advice please
The car is rusting and have 140,000 miles and also needs front passenger ball joint

If the car is rusty, it should be replaced.

If the brake lines are failing from rust, the fuel lines can also fail from rust.


This is why so many call rust ‘‘cancer’’.
From now on it will be non stop. Fix this today, that tomorrow, and more and more to come.

I have rust on the bottom of both back and driver side doors. You guys are giving me mix messages on either to get this repaired at $400 or $1,000 or buying a new vehicle.
I have no problem with the $400, but $1,000, I need a little guidance

Look underneath the vehicle at the sub-frame.

If it’s rusted out, the vehicle is unsafe to drive and should be replaced.


I agree with what everyone says about the rust…the problem I have is that brake likes shouldn’t rust out in just 2 years.

Personally…I’d move on.

I’m guessing that only the failed brake line was replaced but not the full set. Now the others are failing.

+1 to the comment from My 2 Cents.

If the OP is on a limited budget for repairs to this 15-16 year old vehicle, more than likely the earlier brake line repair was just a partial replacement of brake lines, even though replacing all of them was likely called for at that point. Now the chickens have come home to roost…so to speak.

The OP should count his lucky stars that he did not hit anybody when he lost his brakes, and should cut his losses by selling this rusting and unsafe vehicle.

Rust never sleeps…

Taking the back roads to avoid traffic, and a deer darted across the road, and went to brake and pedal went half way then all the way to the floor. The car started to stop than kept going. Deer will another day

I remember well those horrid days in my younger years. (I am in my 70’s now.)

And, no money of any quantity. Needed a car and couldn’t. Needed to repair when I did have one and no money.

But, in this case, though I have great empathy for your plight, that car is too dangerous to drive without repairs you cannot afford. Sorry.

FshrKing–Like irlandes, I empathize with somebody who has limited funds, but the reality of the situation is that if (or–more likely–when) you cause a serious accident with this unsafe vehicle, the lifetime financial “hit” as a result of your liability will make the current repair costs seem insignificant.

Get rid of this unsafe rust bucket before you have a close encounter–or worse–with a human being. Deer can’t sue you, but people can–and will–sue you, and you could wind up with a HUGE financial burden if you continue to drive this car.

Have them replace the lines and ask that they inspect the brake wear and rotors.
I second the opinion that it was probably just a partial repair of the lines last time.

If you had noticed the brakes grinding or squealing prior to the brake line problem, then it would be a “fix it now not later” situation. They may tell you you have another 1000-2000 miles to save up for the work.
If you do need new brakes and rotors, you can always put that off for another week.

But I do need to say that not all brakes squeal or grind and are still too far gone.
So you may not be able to put it off until you save a little money.


I’m in agreement that this vehicle sounds like it has become unsafe. Brake lines rusting out are a sign that it’s time to “give up the ghost”. Car cancer cannot be repaired without major surgery, meaning a complete review of the brake lines, the fuel lines, and everything else under the car and replacement of everything that’s rotting… for costs far in excess of what we’re talking here.

I too sympathize with you, but a major accident will not save you money, and once the lines start rotting out it’s almost inevitable.

Thanks for all the great help and advice:) Going car shopping this weekend

Good decision. I let my son take a car that was 15 years old to college 50 miles away. The next year, he was accepted on an internship program 400 miles away. He had learned to drive on the car and really rebelled at me putting him in much newer vehicle for the internship. He had learned to drive on the old car and claimed that “he and the car understood each other”.
The day after he left, I was driving the old car and the ignition lock broke and the car couldn’t be moved. Had my son taken the car, he would probably still be at a rest stop 21 years later waiting for assistance.

lol, wow what a story, I can’t believe that happen to you. I bet you son was happy that this happen to you and not him.
Awesome story!!! These are stories that people pay to hear and see on tv and it’s true. It’s amazing what could have happen, but was prevented by you. What are the odds

Now, how do I get a good deal on a new vehicle, without getting taken by the dealership? Dateline had a segment on car dealerships taking advantage of people a year ago.

deleted by poster.