Bleeding your brake is essential after working on anything related to the brakes like replacing a brake component or the parts that carry the brake fluid. Car brakes are the most important parts of any car, this is why you bleed it immediately any work is done on your brake area to remove any air in the brake line.
There are some really important things to note if you want to bleed a car brake, especially vehicles with the anti-lock brake system (ABS).
Why do you need a brake bleeder kit?
Before you begin to bleed your brakes, there are some key things you should have in your toolbox, a brake bleeder kit should contain the following;
- Hand-held vacuum pump
- New brake fluid (type recommended for your brake system)
- Floor jack
- Jack stand
- Brake bleeder wrench
- Line wrench (10mm or 11mm)
- Shop towels
- Teflon tape, if necessary
- Grease, if necessary
- Vehicle repair manual, if necessary
You definitely don’t want your car brakes malfunctioning in the long run, so it’s important to use a brake bleeder kit that is designed to make the process of draining or changing your car brake fluid easier. Bleeding brakes is not something that requires the attention of a mechanic, you can actually bleed brakes by yourself.
How to Use a Brake Bleeder Kit?
Changing brake fluid by yourself can be quite tricky and time consuming. First of all, you will need a place, a garage or an open space to be able to jack the car to bleed brakes by yourself.
You can bleed brakes with brake bleeders that exert pressure in the bleed valve to make the fluid come out more easily. Without brake bleeders, you will need someone to sit at the wheel and pump the brakes to be able to bleed it from the other end.
However, a brake bleeder will eliminate the need for a second person to do this job and you will be able to bleed brakes by yourself.
What is The Correct Order to Bleed Brakes?
To bleed brakes, first of all, you would have to jack up your car, this is why you need a space where you can lift your car without hitting someone else’s car.
Thirdly, you will have to remove the tires of the vehicle and take out the cover of the master cylinder. The bleeder kit will then be put to work. If the brake fluid doesn’t seem alright, make sure you top it before doing anything to the vehicle.
If the brake pedal goes to the floor when the engine is running, then this is means that you do not have enough brake fluid, your brakes won’t work if there isn’t enough brake fluid in your vehicle.
There doesn’t have to be a brake pump before you can start bleeding brakes, the bleeder kit really eliminates the need for that. It is also important to be changing brake fluid once in a while along with the engine oil.
How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself?
In order to bleed brakes by yourself, you will need a pressure bleeder and a brake bleeder wrench. Start with the bleeder valve that isn’t close to the master cylinder and open the bleeder screw gently.
Remember to be very gentle opening the bleeder screw, do this with all the bleeder valves. However, make sure that at the time of bleeding these valves, the brake fluid doesn’t fall below one quarter as this could lead to more air being sucked in.
Once you are done bleeding this brake with your vacuum brake bleeder, you can put back your tires and check to see if the master cylinder needs to be topped with more brake fluid. If it needs topping, make sure to add more brake fluid and pump the brakes to make sure it is better now.
How to Get the Air Out of Brake Lines Without Bleeding?
If your brake pedal feels too soft or if you feel like your brake is depressing too far, you might have air in the brake line and the best way to get rid of this air is by using a pressure bleeder kit and bleeder wrench to bleed the line.
To accomplish this, you will need a friend, a fresh can of brake fluid, a bleeder wrench to bleed it. You can find the brake bleeder screw which is a small spigot that seats just behind your brake. Use the appropriate bleeder wrench to gently remove this screw and close it back (you removed the bleeder screw with a bleeder wrench to make sure it was openable, now place a hose on the outlet of the bleeder screw and direct the other end to a bucket to reduce dirt.
Fill this bucket with new brake fluid to serve as reverse pressure. If you don’t have a brake bleeder tool or brake bleeder kit, you can have your friend pump the brakes, and as the brake pumps, you can then gently open the bleeder screw again, but this time tell your friend to hold the brake down and cover your face or bob because there would be a squirt of brake fluid.
Before your friend releases this brake again, make sure you tighten the bleeder screw with a bleeder wrench. Once this is done, tell your friend to release the brakes and repeat this process until no more air bubbles come out with this squirt of brake fluid.
How Long Does it Take to Bleed Brakes?
Changing brake fluid, or choosing to bleed brakes by yourself can take an hour, two, or the whole Saturday afternoon. It really depends on if you know what you are doing, if you know what you are doing, to bleed it should only take an hour or two of your time.
Always make sure that after you finish bleeding your brakes with a master cylinder bleeder kit, there is enough brake fluid in the master cylinder, if there isn’t enough brake fluid in the cylinder, then you should top up the brake fluid.
How to Change Brake Fluid?
Most car companies advise their customers via car manuals and adverts to always change their car brake fluids every 150,000 miles or two years. First of all, always use top quality brake fluids from a well-known manufacturer. You should change your brake fluid if your brake feels spongy too.
Simply jack up your car (make sure it is secured), remove the tires, then reach at the back of the brake system for something called a bleeder screw, loosen it and pump your brakes till all the old brake fluid is gone, be careful not to completely drain the master cylinder. Replace the old brake fluid and test your brakes again.
How do You Test a Brake Master Cylinder?
There are power brake bleeders that are used to test a brake bleeder, there are different kinds of power brake bleeders that can be used to test a brake master cylinder. They are usually included in a master cylinder bleeder kit, along with a brake bleeder wrench and other brake bleeder tool.
Whenever you are choosing to bleed your brakes, always remember to put safety first before any other thing. Remember to secure the vehicle firmly with wedges even after jacking it up, especially if someone would be making the brake pump from inside the vehicle. Also, have someone around to top the fluid in the master cylinder to make sure that the brake fluid doesn’t finish in the cylinder completely