Brake Line Compression Fittings Rather Than Flared Fitings: Hazard?


About 2 years ago, I had several brake lines on my '97 Buick LeSabre replaced at a local shops as they had corroded out.

No problems since then; work fine.

But, I brought the car into a Buick dealership for a state inspection sticker, and they would not pass it as the mgr. said the replaced brake lines had compression type fittings rather than flared ends, and it was not safe.

He also suggested I bring it back to the shop that did the work, or he could re-do them “right”.

Question: Is it worth the hassle, and probably small claims court to have the original shop re-do them (about an $ 800 cost)? Also said they should be double-flared, only, rather than single flared. True ?

How much of a safety hazard is it really with the compression fittings ?

Thoughts on this would be most appreciated.



I don’t know the laws in your state, but obviously the brake lines have been good up to this point.

That being said, and if I was still a state inspector (which I’m not thank God),I would be hesitant to pass a vehicle with the lines repaired like this.
Chances are there will be no problem, but the liability issue is there. If the dealer passed the car anyway, sent you out whereupon you immediately got into a wreck, then you might turn around and sue them for letting it by.
I’m not saying that you would do this; only that this would be their way of looking at it.

Double flared is correct.

What I would have a hard time with is figuring why the original shop did not just replace the lines.
Some parts houses here sell generic brake line in sticks of various lengths, already flared with fittings.
Simply figure what you need and bend to fit. They can even make flexible lines up as needed.
The dealer would be bound to use the original factory lines and of course this is going to be much higher priced.

It’s hard to say what your options are about this. If the compression fittings are illegal under state law then you might approach the shop who did this (be polite about it) and ask them to repair it properly.

If they balk, a small claims suit could force them to pay for the cost of the repair (not by them).
If the compression fittings are illegal I see no way in the world they could hope to win this in a court case.
The first step should be verifying that a compression fitting brake line is illegal under your state’s laws. My guess is that it would be.

JMHO anyway and hope some of it helps. Good luck. :slight_smile:

Compression fitting should never be used for brake line repairs. The shop that did the repair should do it the proper way and at no cost to you. Make sure you have the receipts for the repair when you bring it in.

As far as I know it is illegal to use compression fittings on brake lines.

Compression fittings on brake lines are a HUGE no no, even if it were legal I would NEVER trust them as a permanent solution. Brake lines are very high pressure lines. You don’t want to jam on your brakes real hard in an emergency and have the pedal sink to the floor because you popped the fitting. The shop should change them out for you no charge. I would make them do it because it is unsafe, and if they try to tell you that they are (safe), then they are lying to you.