While it may be tempting to use Teflon tape on the brake system in your vehicle, it’s a good idea to steer clear of this “quick fix” and use something better suited.
Teflon tape does a fantastic job at keeping plumbing systems leak free. That’s why plumbers rely on it so often. Car owners might think that if Teflon tape is good enough to keep water from leaking out of their pipes at home it’ll do a halfway decent job at keeping brake fluid locked into their brake system, too – right?
Will brake fluid eat through Teflon tape? The answer is yes! Brake fluid will eat through Teflon tape, rendering any repair efforts useless.
Will Brake Fluid Eat Teflon Tape?
Believe it or not, brake fluid is going to eat through Teflon tape a whole lot faster than you would have thought possible.
It might not look like a crazy caustic chemical sitting inside little plastic bottles on the shelf or in your garage, but brake fluid can be some nasty stuff – especially when it’s exposed to things like Teflon tape, material it can eat and chew through in the blink of an eye.
Sure, Teflon tape will do a great job keeping your pipes from leaking at home. But used anywhere on your brake system (trying to patch leaky brake lines, wrapped around your bleeders, or anywhere else) and you’ll discover pretty quickly that it works for a few moments and then doesn’t work at all!
To check the current price and availability of Teflon tape, click here to view the listing on Amazon.
Is Teflon Tape Brake Fluid Resistant?
Not only is Teflon tape NOT brake fluid resistant (brake fluid can actually dissolve and significantly degrade PTFE/Teflon tape very quickly) it isn’t product that should be used as a sealant in the first place.
Teflon tape is designed to lubricate the threads on traditional copper, steel, and cast-iron plumbing. It can be used in a variety of other applications – almost always on threaded metals – but it isn’t designed at all to act as a sealant product.
When used on threads in a plumbing situation it does a halfway decent job of closing of the gaps in the threaded material. But that’s it. It’s not made to handle caustic materials, especially not something as potent or as powerful a melting agent as brake fluid.
Can You Use Teflon Tape on Brake Bleeders?
As we’ve highlighted a couple of times already, Teflon tape has no place in the brake system of your vehicle, in large part because it’s such a caustic material and will melt right through the tape.
Some people, though, are tempted to use Teflon tape on their brake bleeders system. They figure this’ll work just fine, gumming up and plugging any leaks and helping the bleeder stay sealed longer.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
On top of the Teflon tape melting issue we mentioned above (something that would happen no matter what the moment the brake fluid came in contact with your Teflon tape), you also have to worry about the heat generated by your braking system melting that Teflon tape, too.
The last thing you want to worry about is a big, gummy, nasty mess on your brake bleeder valves from Teflon tape getting melted at one end from the brake fluid in the system and from the other end by the sheer amount of heat generated by your brakes when they are working.
It’s a good idea to keep Teflon tape as far away from every aspect of your brake system as possible.
Can You Use Tape to Patch Brake Lines from Leaking?
Teflon tape is not designed to work as a sealant – and it’s definitely not designed to work as a sealing agent when the thing it’s trying to patch is under extreme pressure the way your brake lines will be.
There are other products on the market today you can use to quickly patch your brake lines in a pinch, but none of them include Teflon tape.
Sure, you might be able to wrap enough tough line tape around your brake line to stop the fluid from bleeding out immediately.
But if you sat and waited a couple of minutes (especially if you hit the brakes in your vehicle) you find out pretty quickly that the Teflon wasn’t going to stand up to the dissolving properties of brake fluid – or the pressure your brake lines are under when you tap those brakes.
If your brake lines are leaking (and it’s severe enough to notice) the odds are pretty good you’re going to need to replace those leaky lines entirely.
This is a relatively simple and straightforward job, especially if you have the tools on hand to knock it out yourself, but even if you have to go to a shop it’s not all that expensive.
Replacing your brake lines with new ones that will not leak is always – ALWAYS – a better alternative than wrapping a bit of Teflon tape around the leaky components and hoping everything works the way it should.
(Spoiler Alert – Teflon tape wrapped around your brake lines is never going to end well for you or your vehicle).
Few things are as frustrating as dealing with brake lines or a brake system that isn’t behaving the way it should be. This is, after all, though number one system in your vehicle that slows you down and stops your vehicle completely when you need to – and that’s not something you can afford to have “on the fritz”.
At the same, though, the last thing you want to do is slap a cobb job kind of fix on your brake lines – or your bleeder valves – and hope for the best. Fingers crossed while you’re driving down the road with Teflon tape on your brake system is not a good idea.
Luckily, there are a whole bunch of options available on the market today to fix your brake line issues, to get your bleeders working the way they should, and it’s not all that expensive to replace brake lines that need to be swapped out, either. Go for those proven and effective fixes rather than Teflon tape.