How to Bleed Brakes

How to Bleed Brakes

Brakes are your vehicle’s first and most important line of defense. Naturally, you want to pay extra attention to their upkeep and overall effectiveness.

If you recently noticed your brakes feel spongy while traveling around Milford, Manchester, and Middletown you might have air trapped inside your brake lines. This can lower your stopping power and make it difficult to navigate through traffic.

The good news is that with a little bit of know-how, you can bleed the air out of your braking system without much effort. To learn how, check out this short guide and don’t hesitate to contact the Key Cars with any questions. 

Car Jack

Tools You Need to Bleed Brakes

A mechanic is only as good as their tools, so for best results, make sure to have a buddy along with the following items:

  • Car jacks and tire blocks
  • 1 box-end wrench
  • 1 to 3 pints of brake fluid
  • 12-inch clear plastic tubing sized to fit snugly over the bleeder screw
  • 1 small container for waste fluid
  • 1 buddy

Bleeding Vehicle Brakes

Bleeding Your Brakes: Setting Up

The best place to perform this bit of maintenance is over a level surface, like your garage. For easy access, plan to lift your vehicle using a good set of jack stands and use the wheel blocks to prevent any rollbacks.

Remove the tires and locate the bleeder screw located on the caliper. The bleed screw will often have a small hole above the thread line. This is to release any air that’s trapped inside the tube before the fluid comes out.

It’s recommended that you start with the back right tire farthest from the driver and work your way forward.

Brake Service

Bleeding Your Brakes: Releasing the Air

Using the box-end wrench, carefully loosen the bleeder screw. This will release any trapped air inside followed by the brake fluid. You’ll want to keep the container nearby to catch any brake fluid that spills from the hollow bleeder screw.

The next step is to fit the clear plastic tube over the screw hole, placing the other end into the container. At this point, your buddy should carefully climb into the driver seat and slowly press down onto the brake pedal.

Once the pedal is depressed, crack the bleeder screw open. This should release the remaining brake fluid through the tube and into the container. Once the pedal reaches the floor, tighten the bleeder screw and ask your buddy to remove their foot from the pedal.

Pump the brakes again to see how it feels. In most cases, you’ll need to repeat this step a few times at each caliper before the spongy feeling vanishes.

Pouring Brake Fluid

Bleeding Your Brakes: Adding Brake Fluid

Once you bleed all the air out of your braking system, you should add fresh brake fluid to your master cylinder. This helps to keep air from returning to your brake lines while guaranteeing each brake has enough fluid to function.

Fill your master cylinder to the “full line,” bleed your other brakes to remove air, and refill your brake fluid after bleeding each brake. Voila! You have successfully bled your brakes!

Need an Expert? Contact Key Cars Today!

If you’re a driver living in the Milford, Manchester, and Middletown region, our convenient service centers are always ready to lend a hand. Stop by during business hours or contact us online to speak with our friendly pros!

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