How to Bleed Brakes
Have you had experiences where your brakes don’t seem as sharp or springy as they should? Maybe you’re having to press down way too hard on the pedal, or they feel somewhat “squishy.” It could be due to having too much air in your brake lines. This is a common occurrence when you’ve just changed out your brakes.
The process of removing the air from your brake lines is called “bleeding.” Ideally, all you should need to do when you install new brakes is pump them a few times, all the way down and then back up, to get the air out of the lines. In other cases, however, they need to be more thoroughly bled, which requires a specific procedure and tools. Learn how to bleed brakes in your car, and where and when to go in Miami, Hialeah, and Doral when you need the best in professional service for your new or used vehicle.
Steps to Bleed Brakes
In order to bleed your brakes, you’ll first need the right tools—specifically, a brake bleeder wrench. If you don’t have a brake bleeder wrench, a combination wrench will do if it fits the bleeder nozzle on your car. You’ll also need a can of brake fluid, some flexible hose, a clean glass jar, and a helper—bleeding brakes is rarely a one-person job.
Ideally, it should be mentioned that it’s best to have a professional handle this job. Doing it yourself can open you up to the risk of getting air into your ABS, EBD or BA actuators, or into other sensitive and highly technical parts of your brake system. This can lead to very costly repairs and even dangerous situations.
Find the Brake Bleeder Screw
The first step is to find the brake bleeder screw, which is a small nozzle located on the rear side of your brakes. This can be difficult to access, and jacking up your vehicle may be recommended. When you’ve found the screw, find the right sized wrench or socket and loosen it. This is where your bleeder wrench is recommended; using a standard socket or wrench can round off the hex-head.
In addition, be careful not to break off the screw—replacing it can be very expensive. Some WD-40 or Brake Free can be used to loosen a stuck screw. Once you loosen it, tighten it back down—just not too tight.
Preparing to Bleed Brakes
Next, place a small length of flexible hose over the bleeder screw, and put the other end of it into a jar. Pour some brake fluid into the jar, so that the end of the hose is covered. This will help to minimize the mess when you bleed the lines. Next, have your friend pump the brake pedal a few times, slowly. Make sure they let you know when the brake pedal is down and up. Then, open the bleeder screw while the brake is down. Brake fluid is going to squirt out.
If you have jacked up the car and are underneath it, make sure that the wheels are well blocked and secured so it won’t roll back. This can be very dangerous!
Observe the fluid that’s coming out. If there are air bubbles in the fluid, there’s air in the lines. Tighten the screw back down and have your friend release the brake. Then repeat the above procedure until there are no more air bubbles in the fluid. Do this with each brake. Finally, make sure you refill the master cylinder with fresh brake fluid until it reaches the “full” line.
Schedule Service at Braman Honda in Miami
Professionals are always the best option for delicate jobs like this. If you need help checking or bleeding your brakes in the Miami, Doral and Hialeah regions, call Braman Honda Miami for help today or schedule an appointment online.