How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself: Everything You Need to Know About
Owning a car is very beneficial, but it isn't just about driving around town! Your car needs utmost care and maintenance. There are various ways you'll be able to keep your car running in tiptop shape, such as running daily tuneups and keeping it clean. One way to ensure safety and good drives will be bleeding your brakes. But what does that mean and how to bleed brakes by yourself?
It may be confusing learning how to lead brakes at first, but to help you out, I run you through the steps on how to bleed brakes by yourself, as well as what you need to know about brake bleeding in the first place.
What Do You Mean by Bleeding Brakes?
You've probably learned about your vehicle's brakes during the first few driving lessons. Just like your car's engine, the braking system needs to be maintained through tests and tuneups.
Through brake bleeding, you will be releasing "air" from the braking system. This is made through releasing small amounts of brake fluid from the caliper. That's why we call it bleeding, as you are letting the brake fluids out in order to avoid losing efficiency on your braking system.
It's important to bleed brakes so you can release the air trapped inside the braking system. Air enters the system at times when flex lines in the brakes are removed or replaced.
When fluid boils under slightly open areas, then it would create vapor from the brake fluid, hence the "air". And if there is vapor found in the brakes, it would end up damaging the braking system, then may result in a braking failure.
How to Know When You Need to Bleed Your Brakes
The reason why air (vapor) enters the braking system is usually due to repairing or upgrading your braking system. It usually happens then due to the system opening up during the process.
You would need to bleed the brakes if you or your mechanic performed any service to your braking system to release any contaminated fluids.
Another sign to know when you should bleed your brakes is when you feel a change when stepping on our brakes. If ever it starts to feel soft or mushy, then it's best to have it checked.
It's very important to bleed your brakes and maintain your braking system in order to avoid any system failure and hassle having to fix the damage. Also, it will prevent any accidents that may come your way if your brakes fail to work while driving. It's not only to prevent a hefty service bill, but for safety as well.
What You Need to Bleed Your Brakes
When bleeding the lines, you will need to prepare the following items
• Box wrench
The size depends on your braking system. People use 10mm for disc brakes and an 8mm wrench for drum brakes.
• Brake fluid
The amount depends on how much fluid you will bleed out. If you want to replace the whole brake fluid, then three cans is enough. We recommend you to purchase brake fluid in a different color than the previous one, so you know if the old fluid is completely flushed while replacing it.
• Turkey Baster
To help clean and clear away any debris or excess fluid
- Clear plastic tubing
- One can of brake cleaner
- Car lift or jack to lift the car
- Clear tubing
- Disposable bottle
- Penetrating Oil
It will usually take an hour or so, depending on your knowledge on brake bleeding. While it's easy to do it yourself, you can also have someone to help you, such as a loved one knowledgeable on cars, a gas attendant, or your local mechanic.
How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself
Here are the steps to follow in order to bleed your brakes:
1. Jack Up the Car
You can also choose to support it with stands or a car lift.
2. Remove Wheels
Do this using the jack. Remove all four wheels, as you will be accelerating the car later on.
3. Loosen the Bleeding Screws
You can find the caliper bleeding screws by your braking system. Spray it with penetrating oil and loosen them. If ever they snap off, then stop and retighten it again, getting help from a professional. If successful, proceed to the next step.
4. Check the Fluid Level
Check the levels of your brake fluid, adding more if ever the levels are lower than the "full" point. Use the same brand of brake fluid, or if you are using something different, either empty the brake fluid or seek help from the owner's manual, as some brake fluids do not mix.
Make sure that the master-cylinder cap is unscrewed when bleeding brakes.
5. Prepare the Bottle
Add in clear tubing from the bleeder screw and put the end on a bottle. Make sure it's above the caliper to avoid any more air from coming in.
6. Start Bleeding the Brake
Let someone help pump the brake several times until they feel resistance. Let them keep the pressure on. You open the bleeder screw and let the fluid pass.
7. Close the Screw
Before the pedal reaches the floor, close the bleeder screw quickly. Recheck the fluid level and add brake fluid if needed. Repeat the steps until there is no air bubble from the clear tubing.
8. Tidy up
Make sure that the bleeder screws are tight before putting the wheels back on. Once everything's ready to go, give it a test run and enjoy the drive when successful.
When it comes to caring for your car, you will need to be knowledgeable on the methods and ways on how to keep a smooth and safe drive. Your brakes are one of the most important aspects of your car, as it helps you stop the vehicle when needed. That's why it's vital to make sure it's in good shape, meaning you'll need to bleed it every now and then.
Hopefully, this article on how to bleed brakes by yourself helps you know better on what you need to do to keep your brakes working well. So what are you waiting for? Make that car tuneup today and bleed the brakes to ensure no accidents when on the road!
I hope you found the article informative. If you have any more questions or tips on bleeding brakes, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.