How to Bleed Brakes

Removing a wheel from a vehicle

When it comes to brake service, it’s a routine of small repairs to ensure your entire brake system is working properly. Once you learn how to bleed brakes by yourself, you’ll see that the process might be time consuming but not overly complicated. Brake bleeding simply allows you to release any air that might be trapped in the brake system of your vehicle. Our service team at Cornerstone Plymouth in Plymouth has prepared a guide below to help you learn how to bleed brake lines. 

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself 

If you’re ready to learn how to bleed brake lines, you’ll need a few materials like brake fluid, a box-end wrench, a fluid holder and tubing, and an assistant. Here’s the steps for how to bleed brakes by yourself: 

Step 1: 

Check your owner’s manual so you can purchase the right brake fluid. Also, find out the replacement intervals for brake fluid as well. The owner’s manual should also detail the pattern you should follow to bleed the brake lines. 

Step 2: 

On an even surface, jack your car up and remove all four wheels. 

Step 3: 

Find the four caliper bleeding screws then loosen each of them carefully, don’t twist too hard. If you’re having trouble, spray the screw with penetrating oil then wait for 30 minutes to try again. Don’t try to force it because you could strip or snap the screw. If this happens, visit our service department for professional help near Minneapolis and Minnetonka. 

Step 4: 

Once the screws are loose, retighten them. You’ll need to bleed one brake at a time meaning only one screw should be loose at any given moment. 

Step 5: 

Open your hood to check the master cylinder for the brake fluid level. Be sure the brake fluid level is at the right amount. As you bleed your brakes, leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed on top of the reservoir. Bleed the brake furthest away from the master cylinder.

Step 6: 

Place the end of the clearing tube (¼ inches in diameter) over the first bleeder screw. Place the other end of the tube into a plastic bottle or purchase a brake bleeding kit from an auto store or order online. Make sure the tubing is long enough to place the catch container above the bleeder screw’s height. 

Step 7: 

Turn off your engine and have your assistant pump the brake pedal until they can feel the resistance pushing back against the pedal. Have them keep pressure on the pedal while you open the bleeder screw a little bit. Fluid should flow through the tube and the pedal will lower, be sure pressure is still being applied.

Step 8: 

Your assistant needs to tell you when the pedal is close to reaching the floor. You’ll close the bleeder screw quickly, then check the fluid level in the master fluid reservoir. Add fluid if needed. 

Step 9: 

Repeat steps 7 and 8 five times to the same bleeder screw or until there are no bubbles in the fluid stream. 

Step 10: 

Repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 on the other three screws in the right order ending with the screw closest to the master cylinder. 

Step 11: 

Once you’ve bled each brake, have your assistant apply the brakes then release the pedal quickly. Check the fluid in the reservoir to ensure there are no bubbles. If there’s little movement in the fluid, you’re successful. 

Step 12: 

Tighten each bleeder screw then put the wheels back on your car.

Have Your Brakes Bled at Cornerstone Plymouth

Learning how to bleed brake lines can be complicated if you’re a novice at home car maintenance, and there is little room for error when it comes to your brake system. If you want to have your brakes bled by our team of professional technicians, schedule an appointment or contact us. Before you visit our service center near Maple Grove, don’t forget to look for service specials!

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