Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Stainless Steel Car Parts
Why is stainless steel the best material for some car and truck brake lines? In two words; durability and longevity. Stainless steel isn’t prone to rusting or corrosion like regular steel is and it’s not susceptible to tears, holes, and deterioration like rubber hoses are. The icing on this automotive cupcake is that your brake lines and hoses, fuel lines, and other systems that are finished in stainless steel tend to look new and shiny for a long time to come.
Stainless Steel vs Standard Steel
Your car’s undercarriage matters to collectors and car enthusiasts. Some may want the all-original parts but most will love that new and improved car look with all new stainless steel hoses, brake lines, fuel lines, transmission lines, performance exhaust pipes, and more. Choosing between standard steel and stainless steel is usually a pretty simple task with only one obstacle: Price. Stainless steel will be more expensive than standard steel but how much more expensive usually depends on how much chromium and nickel they used in the forging process.
What is Steel Made Of?
Standard steel is simply a combination of iron and carbon. It’s a very hard substance and has served us well for hundreds of years. However, standard steel and iron are prone to rust. It’s one reason the weapons of medieval times are so rare. Most have rusted where they fell. This is the same reason solid floorboards, good fuel lines, brake lines, and everything on our future dream cars all need to be replaced. They rusted where they fell. “It ran when I parked it 37 years ago… Anyhow, $40k sound fair?”
What is Stainless Steel Made Of?
Stainless steel is primarily a mixture of iron, carbon, nickel, and chromium. Adding chromium creates a protective coating of chromium oxide which helps stabilize the metal. This protective layer prevents oxidation of the metal which is what causes rust and corrosion. The amount of chromium used largely depends on its application.
- Stainless steel silverware may have a lower percentage of chromium, around 10%, because it’s designed to be used, washed, and put away dry.
- Whereas stainless steel marine parts will use closer to 35% chromium because they will remain wet and potentially covered in saltwater residue. That’s a combination that will eat a metal fitting in no time.
- Stainless steel auto parts will likely fall somewhere in the middle of silverware and marine parts, ranging from 15%-25% depending on its location on the vehicle and its intended use.
When is it Most Important to Use Stainless Steel Car Parts?
If you live anywhere that gets snow, has high saltwater content, or is known for its humidity then it’s better to be safe than sorry, because:
High humidity can cause steel to rust because the metal stays wet for longer periods. This causes expedited oxidation and the water breaks down what few defenses it has.
Salt is a potent electrolyte. It contains many dissociated ions. This greatly accelerates corrosion in salt water. Saltwater allows iron to lose electrons more quickly, making it weak and more susceptible to corrosion. SCIENCE!!
How does snow cause rust? It doesn’t… Well, it can because it is frozen water but we’re not talking about water this time. When it snows your city, town, or county plows the roads and puts down these chemicals to prevent them from refreezing. We do appreciate these heroes of safe travel BUT these chemicals adhere to your undercarriage and eat away at the steel. This causes pitting and breaks down your metal and rubber components. Corrosion and rust aren’t far behind.
Side note: Wash your undercarriage regularly!
Climates and Steel
So unless you live in a desert you need stainless steel parts on your car or truck. If you live in the desert you want stainless steel brake hoses on your car or truck because they are stronger than rubber and less likely to be damaged off-road and won’t deteriorate due to flying sand and extreme heat.
Stainless Steel Brake Lines, Brake Hoses, Fuel Lines, and More
When it comes to outfitting your car or truck in stainless steel brake lines, braided brake hoses, fuel lines, transmission lines, stainless performance exhausts, and more it’s important to trust your source. That’s why SSTubes is known as the premium provider of stainless steel lines for vehicles in North America. You might even call us a one-stop shop for durable, long-lasting auto parts. Order your auto parts today.