Like some parts of your car, brakes require routine maintenance and occasional service to ensure they are working properly. This includes bleeding to remove air bubbles from your brake lines. If you don’t know how to do it, here is a short guide.
How to bleed your brakes?
Bleeding your brakes requires equipment and a partner. You will need a wrench to open and close the bleeder valve, safety glasses, gloves, and a brake bleeder with a refill bottle . Once you have everything you need, follow these 10 simple steps to get the air out of your brake lines:
First of all, identify the master cylinder in the engine compartment. You will need to bleed each of the brake fluid lines individually. It’s a good idea to start with the brake farthest from the master cylinder.
Next find the brake bleeder valve which should normally be on the outer part of the caliper.
Place the end of your trap tube to the purge valve.
Using a wrench, open the bleed screw. When it’s open, tell your partner to press the brake pedal all the way. This will force out any air or liquid containing air bubbles in the brake system.
Make sure your partner holds the pedal down as long as the valve is open. Releasing the pedal will suck in air again.
Close the valve and have your partner take their foot off the brake pedal.
Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir. Add brake fluid to the refill bottle until it is level with each bleed.
Repeat steps 4 through 7 several times until you see only clear brake fluid with no air bubbles.
To make sure you bleed all the air out of your brake lines, repeat this process on the remaining calipers.
Finally, test drive your vehicle for a short drive. If the pedal doesn’t feel stuck and you don’t drift to the side when braking, that means you’ve released all the air from your brake lines.
Why do you need to bleed the brakes?
Your car’s braking system is actually a hydraulic system. When you step on the brake pedal, the master cylinder senses the pressure you have applied, then pushes brake fluid through the brake lines to the calipers which contain the pistons pushing the pads against the rotors. If there are air bubbles in your brake fluid, it can cause problems like one-sided braking when you brake, a hard pedal feeling that feels stuck, or a risk of the pedal going soft. A well-bleeded brake system responds instantly to every press of the brake pedal. Of course, if your car has ABS, hard braking will not cause the wheels to lock, but rather gradual braking.