How to Bleed Brakes by Yourself

Every now and then, your vehicle will need some repairs so as to keep it in perfect condition. The brakes are some of the most critical elements of the vehicle and there are instances when they may need to be repaired or serviced. If you can learn how to bleed brakes by yourself, then it would save you a whole lot of money because you would not have to go the auto shop.

When to Bleed Brakes​

There are a number of indicators that will help you know when would be the right time to bleed your brakes. One of the main signs is when the brakes start to feel squishy then it means that there is air in the lines. Bleeding brakes is the best way to get rid of this air and get your vehicle back to normal functioning.

While bleeding brakes by yourself is a good thing, you should be careful so as not to allow air to get into the complicated parts of the braking system. If you are not sure on how to bleed brakes, you should allow a professional mechanic do it for you.​

Why You Should Bleed Brakes​

Bleeding brakes is an essential task which allows you to release some amount of the brake fluid, from the system. You will do this by opening the valve that usually at the wheel cylinder or the caliper. The main purpose of bleeding brakes is to release the air trapped within the brake lines. Ordinarily, air will get into the system when you remove or replace the flex lines.

When there is air in the brake fluid, the efficiency of the braking system is compromised. This is as a result of the fact that air is compressed and this is what causes the brake pedal to be soft. Ideally, the fluid should help create pressure for an efficient braking system.

What You Need To Bleed Brakes

Knowing the right tools to use is an essential part of learning how to bleed brakes. In order to accomplish the task successfully here are the items that you will need:

  • Brake bleeder wrench or you can use a combination wrench
  • Brake fluid
  • Hose
  • A clean jar
  • A helping hand

When you have all these in place, then you can go ahead and follow these steps to bleed brakes successfully.

Step 1:​ Locate the Brake Bleeder Screw

locate brake bleeder

The first and most important thing is to locate the brake bleeder screw. Ideally, this will be behind the brakes. In order to make it easier to access this nozzle, you should jack up the vehicle so as to be able to crawl under the vehicle. To achieve the utmost comfort when bleeding the brakes, you can use a mechanic’s creeper which allows you to slide around conveniently.

Step 2: Loosen the Screw​

loosen the screw

This is where you will need to have the proper wrench to be able to loosen the brake bleeder screw. The main reason why you need to find a wrench that fits is so that you can prevent damaging the hex head of the screw. When loosening the screw, you should be careful so as not to break it.

Step 3: Put the Hose Pipe over the Bleeder Screw​

hose pipe over the bleeder

Take one end of the hose pipe and place it over the bleeder and screw, while the other end should be in the clean jar that you have. You should fill up the jar with brake fluid, enough to cover the hose pipe. If you do not have a hose pipe, you can have the jar close to the nozzle.

Step 4: Pump the Brake Pedal​

This is where you will need a helping hand so that your assistant can pump the brake pedal slowly. Your friend should inform you when they are pumping up and down the pedal. As a safety precaution, ensure that the wheels of the vehicle are blocked before your friend gets into the car that is already jacked up. This will prevent the vehicle from rolling and causing injuries.

Step 5: Open the Bleeder Screw

When the brake pedal has been pumped a number of times, open the brake bleeder screw, while your friend keeps the pedal down. This will force the brake fluid to squirt, and if there was air in the brake lines, you will see bubbles in the jar filled with brake fluid. Tighten the bleeder screw while your helper is still holding the pedal down. If the pedal is released when the screw is open, air is sucked back into the brake lines.

Step 6: Repeat the Procedure

Have your assistant release the pedal and inform you when it is up so that you can repeat the process of loosening and tightening the screw. You should do this up to the point where there will be no more bubbles coming out with the brake fluid.

Step 7: Fill Up the Brake Fluid in the Master Cylinder​

Once you have established that you have removed all the air, tighten the bleeder screw and refill the brake fluid. Add it in the master cylinder to the point marked, “full”. As you learn how to bleed brakes, you will notice that every time you open the screw brake fluid comes out and there is a possibility of being drained. This is why you need to replenish the fluid in the master cylinder.

You can also see this video for more details:​

Final Verdict

This is the simple process of bleed brakes and you should repeat it, for each of the brake lines. Every time you finish up with a particular line, refill the brake fluid. When all is done, lower the vehicle and drive around so as to ensure that the brake pedal no longer feels spongy or mushy. When you achieve this, then it means that you have comprehended how to bleed brakes by yourself. Ultimately, this will save you a whole lot of money as you can do this without having to go to a professional mechanic.

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