Q – On my 85 Carrera it is time to replace the brake hoses and I have mixed feelings about stainless steel braided brake hoses. My mechanic recommended them but I like the feel of the original rubber hoses and I have driven cars with the aftermarket hoses. What do you think? Terry
A – Although I have my preferences, here are the facts. Both types are perfectly fine for your car and safety is not a factor when they are properly installed. The rubber sheathed hoses do have more resilience than the stainless steel. They have a small degree of softness by comparison under normal usage. On the track however, the difference may be a lot more obvious. Race cars use stainless steel for the sharper feel that they provide.
Original hoses are not expensive but they actually cost more than the stainless. So cost is not a significant factor. Installation is identical for both but here is the rub (bad pun). Rubber hoses have an abrasion resistant rubber outer layer that prevents wear from destroying the fabric inner braid that gives the hose its strength. The stainless steel hoses do not have this protective layer and when poorly installed, the stainless braid can rub through. This can lead to sudden brake failure when you need them the most. It happened to me and taught me to be very vigilant with hose installation. – MC