To make sure you have complete and safe control over your vehicle, it’s critical that you keep the brakes well-maintained. Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide on how to bleed brakes by yourself, as well as all the essential tools you’ll need to do it.
At Euro Car Parts, you’ll find a wide range of brake pads available for every car make and model. Plus, once you’ve found the correct parts, we offer a brilliant fitting service, where we work with local garages to get your car back on the road as soon as possible.
Why Do We Bleed Brakes?
The main reason for bleeding brakes is to make sure that they are operating at their full capacity. Over time, you may notice that when you apply your brake pedal, it feels ‘spongy’ or ‘soft’. Bleeding your brakes allows braking fluid to escape the system and release trapped air, so your brakes feel more responsive.
When to Bleed Brakes
Bleeding your brakes doesn’t need to be done regularly. But it needs doing if you notice any of the following:
- When your braking begins to feel spongy or soft
- You notice your car takes longer to stop as you apply the brakes
- If you find a leak. Bleeding your brakes ensures that your system doesn’t have an air bubble
- After replacing your car’s brake pads or rotors. This is because air can enter the master cylinder which decreases the amount of force the brake pad applies
- Once a year during a maintenance
How Long Does It Take to Bleed Brakes?
Overall, it will take you anywhere between 30 and 40 minutes to bleed the brakes of your car, that’s around 10 to 15 minutes on each wheel. You’ll need to ask someone to assist you in the process, as it’s their responsibility to press the brake pedal as you’re bleeding the brakes.
Essential Tools For Bleeding Brakes
You’ll need the following tools to bleed your car’s brakes:
- Box-end wrench suitable for your car’s bleeder screws
- Additional brake fluid
- 1 litre disposable bottle for waste fluid
- Brake cleaner
- Silicone piping
- An assistant (family member or friend)
How to Bleed Brakes
Here’s the most common way for you to bleed your brakes:
- Take your 1 litre water bottle and create a small hole at the top of the lid. This is where your silicone pipe will go through and is the tool that will help you bleed your brakes. It may be a good idea to purchase a caliper bleed nipple, though it’s not essential.
- Before you begin to bleed your brakes, ask whoever’s helping you to sit in the car and be prepared to press the brake pedal.
- Ensure the car is raised slightly by using a jack to grant you greater access to each brake.
- Hook the wrench to the bleeder valve and then attach the 1 litre bottle tool you previously created (in step one) to the top of it. Ensure the 1 litre bottle is in a stable position to avoid any spillage.
- Ask the person in the car to press down the brake pedal slightly. Then at the same time as the pedal is being pressed, you should open the brake bleeder valve a quarter of a turn, which will drain the old fluid into your 1 litre bottle. Once the brake pedal’s pressed all the way down, immediately close the valve. Repeat this on each wheel until you notice the fluid being drained is becoming clearer.
Top tip: Throughout the process, make sure the master cylinder is topped up with brake fluid.
- Test the brake pedal for any air bubbles. If the brakes continue to feel spongy then you may need to repeat the process.
Do You Need to Bleed Brakes After Changing Pads?
Yes, you will need to bleed your car’s brakes after changing its brake pads. This helps to remove any dirt in the braking system. It’s common for people to open both the bleeder valve and squeeze calipers while changing the brake pads.
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