How to Bleed Brakes: A Guide

Mechanic Working On Brakes


Having your brakes serviced requires a few small repairs to keep the brake system running as well as possible. Why bleed your brakes though? Well, if there is air trapped in the car’s brake system, the brakes will operate less efficiently on Harrogate and Ewing roads. The process isn’t too complicated, but it takes time and can take longer if you don’t have much experience working with vehicles. You can always schedule an appointment with Tim Short Chrysler of Middlesboro to have your brakes bled with our expert service center team. Nonetheless, we’ve put together a guide on how to bleed brake lines. 

Why Bleed Your Brakes? 

Bleeding your brakes probably sounds like a very big deal, but it’s really just an important aspect of your regular maintenance routine. The moisture resistance of your brake fluid wears down over time, allowing water to be absorbed. This also allows air to get into the brake system which can lead to that “spongy” feeling. This is why you bleed your brakes–to remove trapped air and give the brakes a firm feeling.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself at Home

If you are wondering how to bleed brakes by yourself at home, you’ll need brake fluid, a box-end wrench, a fluid holder and tubing, and an assistant to help you. Once you’ve gathered the materials you need, follow these steps for how to bleed brakes: 

Step 1: 

The first step is to check your owner’s manual and be sure to have the correct brake fluid. There are many different types of brake fluid, and it’s important to choose the one that’s right for your vehicle. The owner’s manual can also inform you of the replacement intervals for brake fluid. 

Step 2: 

Find solid and level ground, then jack up your car. Remove all of the wheels. 

Step 3: 

Locate the four caliper bleeding screws and loosen them. (Don’t twist hard with the wrench if they don’t come off immediately. Instead, spray the screw with penetrating oil and wait about 30 minutes. If the screw strips or snaps, don’t go any further — bring your car to our service center ASAP.)

Step 4: 

After loosening the screws, tighten them again. The first thing to realize when it comes to how to bleed brake lines, it’s important to realize bleeding your brakes is a slow process and needs to be done one brake at a time; the other three screws need to be tight to avoid air bubbles. 

Step 5: 

Pop the hood and check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. You’ll want to be sure your car has the appropriate amount of fluid. During the process of bleeding the brakes, leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed but still resting on top of the reservoir. You’ll want to bleed the brake furthest from the master cylinder first, but confirm in your owner’s manual because your vehicle may require a different order. 

Step 6: 

Use a piece of clear tubing (about 1/4 inches in diameter), and secure it over the first bleeder screw. Place the opposite end of the tubing into a receptacle like a plastic bottle. Or you can purchase a cheap brake bleeding kit from any auto store that’ll have these items. The tubing needs to be long enough that you can place the catch container above the bleeder screw’s height. This prevents any air caught in the tube won’t move back into the brake caliper. 

Step 7: 

Get an assistant for this next step, be sure the car engine is off first. You’ll want your assistant to pump the brake pedal several times until they feel resistance pushing back against the pedal. Once they feel this resistance, they’ll need to maintain the pressure on the pedal. Whilst that is going on, you should open the bleeder screw a bit. The fluid will move through the tube and the pedal will drop closer to the floor. Be sure your assistant maintains the pressure. 

Step 8: 

Your assistant should notify you immediately before the pedal reaches the floor. Then you should close the bleeder screw right away. Afterwards, inspect the fluid level in the master fluid reservoir. You may need to add fresh fluid. 

Step 9: 

You’ll have to repeat the previous two steps about five times at the same bleeder screw. If the fluid stream no longer has any bubbles you’ll know you’re done.

Step 10: 

Repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 on the other three bleeder screws in the correct order moving from farthest to the closest bleeder screw. 

Step 11: 

Once you’re done bleeding the brakes, have your assistant apply the brakes then quickly release the pedal. While they are doing that, keep an eye on the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If there is significant bubbling, there’s still air in the system and you’re not quite done. On the other hand, if the fluid is moving only slightly, you’ve finished. 

Step 12: 

Tighten the bleeder screws before you put the tries back on, but be sure to apply just enough pressure to make sure they’re secure. 

Come to Tim Short Chrysler of Middlesboro for Your Next Service!

Now that you know how to bleed brakes, you can make a decision on whether you can handle the task by yourself. If you decide to bring your vehicle in for service, you can schedule an appointment with our team at Tim Short Chrysler of Middlesboro of Middlesboro. If you have any questions, you can contact us at any time. Also, be sure to check out our service specials while you are at it, and see how you can save money, today!

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