How to Bleed Brakes

Mechanic Inspecting Brake Pads and Rotors

Your braking system is a crucial component of your car’s performance while you’re driving around Amber, and if air gets trapped in the braking lines, bleeding your brakes is a must. Whether you want to learn how to bleed brakes by yourself or visit a qualified service center, the team at John Holt Auto Group, Inc. is here to guide you through the process. Our service center is here to make it easier for Tabler drivers to take care of the process, and are ready to help you today.



Why Should You Bleed Your Brake Lines?

Before we go into how to bleed brake lines, why should you bleed your brake lines at all? Your brake fluid attracts moisture over time, which can also introduce air into the system. These air bubbles build up inside the system and change the way your braking feels. When you press down on the pedal, you might notice a “soft” or “spongy” feeling underfoot. Once you remove the air bubbles, your brakes will go back to normal.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself 

Learning how to bleed brakes by yourself is labor-intensive, but doable for a DIY car enthusiast. But before you learn how to bleed brakes, you’ll need to gather up the right supplies. Find brake fluid, a box-end wrench, a fluid holder and tubing, and an assistant who is willing to help. After everything is in place, here are the steps for how to bleed brake lines properly: 

  1. Double-check that you have the right brake fluid on hand by reading your owner’s manual.
  2. Raise your car with a jack and remove all wheels.
  3. Look for the four caliper bleeding screws and loosen them gently. If any screws snap or strip, visit the service center immediately.
  4. Re-tighten your four caliper bleeding screws. You’ll work with one at a time from now on.
  5. Look at the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir under the hood. If it is at the right level, unscrew the cap and leave it sitting on top of the reservoir.
  6. Start with the brake furthest from the master cylinder0, unless indicated otherwise in your owner’s manual. Place clear tubing over the screw and place the other end over a bucket or bottle to catch the fluid.
  7. Ask your assistant to sit in the car and pump the brakes. Once they feel resistance pushing back against the pedal, ask them to hold the brake down. This is when you open the bleeder screw to release the fluid.
  8. Ask your assistant to let you know before the pedal hits the flood, which is when you should close the bleeder screw. Re-check the fluid level in the master fluid reservoir and add more fluid if needed.
  9. Repeat the process at the same bleeder screw until you don’t see bubbles. This generally takes about five tries.
  10. Repeat the process on the other three screws, starting with the screw further away from the master cylinder and moving to the one closest to it.
  11. Once you’re finished, ask your assistant to apply the brakes and immediately release them. As they do this, keep an eye on the master cylinder reservoir. If the fluid is still bubbling, you might need to repeat the process. If the fluid only moves slightly, you are done.
  12. Make sure all the bleeder screws are tight, put the wheels back on, and you’re ready to get back on the Norge roads.

What’s the Color of Brake Fluid? 

What color is brake fluid supposed to be? How can you tell if it’s leaking? When new, brake fluid might look clear with a yellowish tint, or it might be closer to a honey-like shade of yellow-brown. As it ages, brake fluid will darken and start to look more like oil, so it’s important to tell the difference based on what is the color of brake fluid supposed to be.

Schedule Your Service at John Holt Auto Group, Inc.

We’ve gone over the basics of how to bleed brake lines by yourself, but if you want to simplify your life, feel free to schedule your appointment online at your convenience to let our team take care of the process for you. But if you’re a DIYer, then browse our selection of service tips and tricks for more ways to handle your vehicle’s service needs.


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