How to Bleed Brakes

Mechanic checking brake fluid


If there’s excess air or water trapped within your brake lines, learning how to bleed brakes can help you set things right once more. The process of bleeding your brake lines can be a little time consuming, and since it requires an extra set of hands, many drivers choose to schedule service and let our team take care of everything. 

On the other hand, it’s far from impossible to learn how to learn how to bleed brakes by yourself at home! We’ve laid out everything that the intrepid DIY service tech would need to know.

Why Should You Bleed Brakes?

Bleeding your brakes might sound like some kind of esoteric, medieval medical procedure, but it’s really very straightforward. Here’s why it’s important to know how to bleed brake lines:

  • New brake fluid provides moisture resistance and prevents water from entering your brake lines. Over time, this resistance wears down and water gets inside, limiting the responsiveness of your hydraulic brake controls.
  • In other cases, air gets into the brake lines and creates an extra layer of resistance between your pedal and your brakes. This is why the response of your pedal might feel soft or spongy when you try to come to a stop in Sicklerville. Your brake pads might not work as well as they should.

No matter which problem (or combination of problems) you’re facing, learning how to bleed brake lines at home can help to firm up your pedal’s response.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself 

First things first. You’ll need to collect OEM-approved brake fluid, a box-end wrench, ¼-inch tubing, and a fluid holder. You might be able to purchase a brake bleeding kit with everything you need. You’ll also need an assistant or a friend who can help you out with the process.

So, you’ve got everything you need. Here’s how to bleed brakes by yourself:

  1. Check your owner’s manual to make sure you’ve acquired an appropriate brake fluid. Call our parts department if you’re unsure.
  2. Park your car on solid, level ground and jack it up. Remove all four of your wheels.
  3. Locate the caliper bleeding screws with help from your owner’s manual. Loosen them, but be careful not to strip the screw. (If they don’t come off right away, apply a small amount of penetrating oil and wait thirty minutes. If you do strip the screw, visit our service center as soon as possible.)
  4. Tighten three of the screws again. You’ll need to bleed one brake at a time, and the other screws need to be tight to minimize the risk of air bubbles.
  5. Pop the hood and check the brake fluid level in your master cylinder reservoir. Bring the brake fluid level up to where it should be, and leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed. Generally, you’ll start by bleeding the brake that’s furthest from the master cylinder, but you’ll want to check your owner’s manual or ask an expert for guidance.
  6. Fit your plastic tubing over the end of the first bleeder screw, and place the other end in a receptacle. You’ll need to be able to hold the receptacle up higher than the bleeder screw in order to prevent air from moving back into the caliper.
  7. Make sure that your engine is off, and then ask your assistant to press the brake pedal down several times. When they start to feel resistance, they should continue to apply pressure without a break. Loosen the bleeding screw a little bit; fluid should drain out as the assistant continues to press the pedal closer to the floor.
  8. Your assistant should notify you just before the pedal reaches the floor. Tighten the screw immediately, then inspect the central reservoir to determine if you need more fluid.
  9. Repeat the steps above at the same screw until you no longer see any bubbles in the brake fluid. 
  10. Work through the same steps with each of the other bleeding screws, making sure to work in the correct order. 
  11. To check your work, have your helper press down on the brake pedal while you watch the master cylinder. If you notice any significant bubbling, you’re not quite done.
  12. Make sure that all of the bleeder screws are secure before you reattach your wheels. 

Get Brake Service at Chevrolet Of Turnersville!  

It’s certainly possible to learn how to bleed brake lines at home, but many Sicklerville and Sewell drivers will determine that it’s easier and less time consuming to schedule service at a dealership like our own! Just make sure to check out our service specials before you make an appointment.


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