How to Bleed Brake Lines

When your brakes get serviced in the Morrisville area, this consists of a variety of repairs that help keep the entire brake system functioning properly. Brake bleeding is one of those repairs. If there’s air trapped in your vehicle’s brake system, you’re probably wondering how to bleed brakes to release it. While bleeding brakes isn’t too complicated of a process, it can be time-consuming if you’ve never performed this service before. Read this guide by the service experts at Hendrick Cadillac Cary to learn how to bleed brakes by yourself, and remember that you can always schedule an appointment with our expert technicians if you need guidance.

Bleeding Brakes: Why is it Important?

While bleeding brakes may sound like a daunting task, it’s a key part of your brake system maintenance. As you drive throughout Apex, over time, the moisture resistance of your brake fluid will wear down, causing the fluid to absorb water. Air can also get into the car’s brake system, causing the brake pedal to feel “soft” or “spongy” when pressed. Bleeding the brakes will help remove any trapped air, giving your brake pedal a firm feeling.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself

If you want to try bleeding your brakes at home in Durham, here are the materials that you’ll need: brake fluid, a box-end wrench, a fluid holder and tubing, and an assistant to help you. Once you have the necessary equipment, follow these steps:

Step 1:

Consult your owner’s manual to ensure that you have the right brake fluid. There are many different types of brake fluid, so it’s important to know which kind is right for your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will also detail what the replacement intervals are for brake fluid.

Step 2:

Jack up your car on solid and level ground. Remove all of the wheels.

Step 3:

Next, locate the four caliper bleeding screws and loosen them. If the screws loosen immediately, don’t twist hard with the wrench. Instead, spray the screw with penetrating oil and wait about 30 minutes. Then, try it again. If the screw strips or snaps, don’t go any further — bring your car to our service center right away.

Step 4:

Once the screws are loosened, tighten them again. When learning how to bleed brakes, you’ll quickly realize that it’s a slow process as you’ll need to bleed one brake at a time. The other three screws will need to be tight to prevent air bubbles.

Step 5:

Pop the hood and check the master cylinder reservoir’s brake fluid level to make sure you have the right amount of fluid. While you’re bleeding the brakes, leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed but still resting on top of the reservoir. To begin, you’ll want to bleed the brake furthest from the master cylinder, but your vehicle may require a different order. You can check your owner’s manual or ask a technician for guidance.

Step 6:

Secure the end of a piece of clear tubing (about 1/4 inches in diameter) over the first bleeder screw. Place the other end of the tubing into a receptacle such as a plastic bottle. You can also purchase a cheap brake bleeding kit from any auto store — or order one online — that’ll have these items. The tubing needs to be long enough that you can place the catch container above the bleeder screw’s height. This way, any air caught in the tube won’t move back into the brake caliper.

Step 7:

Here is where your assistant will need to step in. Make sure the car engine is off, and ask your assistant to pump the brake pedal several times until they feel resistance pushing back against the pedal. Tell them to keep pressure on the pedal. Meanwhile, open the bleeder screw a bit. Fluid will move through the tube, causing the pedal to start dropping closer to the floor. Make sure your assistant continues to apply pressure.

Step 8:

Have your helper notify you immediately before the pedal reaches the floor. When they do, close the bleeder screw right away. Then, check the fluid level in the master fluid reservoir. You may need to add fresh fluid.

Step 9:

Repeat the previous two steps about five times at the same bleeder screw, or until there aren’t any bubbles left in the fluid stream.

Step 10:

Then, repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 on the other three bleeder screws in the correct order — starting with the screw further away from the master cylinder and moving to the one closest to it.

Step 11:

After you’ve finished bleeding your brakes, instruct your helper to apply the brakes, then quickly release the pedal. While they do that, keep an eye on the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If you notice that the fluid is bubbling significantly, this means that there’s still air in the system and the job isn’t quite done. However, if the fluid is moving only slightly, you’ve bled the brakes fully.

Step 12:

Before you put the wheel back on your car, tighten each of the bleeder screws. Again, don’t screw them too tightly–just apply enough pressure to make sure they’re secure.

Get Your Brakes Serviced at Hendrick Cadillac Cary!

If your car’s brake pedal has a spongy feeling when pressure is applied, your vehicle likely needs its brakes bled. Don’t feel comfortable enough to breed brake lines yourself? No worries! Turn to the professionals here at Hendrick Cadillac Cary to get the job done. Give us a call at (919) 342-8209 to schedule an appointment, be sure to browse our service specials for great savings opportunities.

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