Sometimes you may have a spongy or squishy feel when you engage the brakes. It happens when the level of the brake fluid in the master cylinder drops too low, and air bubbles get caught in the lines. Bleeding brakes is the process of removing those air bubbles from the brake system and flushing out old fluid and contaminants. Knowing how to bleed car brakes will save your hassle and money.
How to Bleed Car Brakes
You’ll need to have some tools and follow the right procedure to bleed the brakes of your vehicle. Let’s take a look:
The Materials Needed for Bleeding Brakes
- A brake bleeder wrench
- A clean glass jar
- A can of brake fluid
- A helper
Procedures for Bleeding Brakes
Follow the procedure step by step for bleeding your car brakes the right way:
Jack up your car and crawl underneath. Find the brake bleeder screw located behind each of your brakes. Use the wrench to loosen but not remove the screw. If it’s stuck, spraying some penetrant around it will make your job easier.
Fit one end of a hose into the end of the screw, and the put the other end in the glass jar. Fill the jar with brake fluid at a level so that the hose’s end is submerged. If you can’t find any flexible hose, keep the jar near the nozzle so that it can catch the liquid squirting out of the nozzle.
Ask the helper (might be a friend or someone else) to sit in the driver’s seat and push the brake pedal several times. After that, open the bleeder screw after asking the helper to hold the pedal down. Brake fluid will come out of the nozzle, and you’ll see the bubbles (if there’s any) clearly.
Now, tighten the screw when the helper is still holding the pedal down. Now, tell him/her to release the pedal and repeat this process of loosening and tightening the screw until the fluid contains no more bubble. Tell the helper to shout “Down” when pressing the pedal and “Up” when releasing it.
You have to bleed each of the brakes by repeating the same process. However, it is necessary to fill up the master cylinder with brake fluid before bleeding each of the brakes. If you don’t do it, the cylinder will be drained out of fluid and draw air into the lines. In that case, it is necessary to bleed the master cylinder too.
After bleeding the last brake and filling up the master cylinder to the full level, tighten the last bleeding screw. Drive the car a while to see if the brakes seem alright when you push the pedal.
Learning how to bleed car brakes is not a complicated task. However, you will need patience and perseverance to complete the project successfully.