How to Bleed Brakes by Yourself: Simple, Easy and Effective Tips

How to bleed brakes by yourself

Today we will help you learn how to bleed brakes by yourself. First and foremost, why you need to do this. The goal is to remove air from the braking system. The oil you have in the system won’t compress, but the air will. This decreases the stopping power and makes brakes less efficient. In simple terms, the air will compress in the system meaning that the brake pedal will go lower to the footwell and brake pads won’t be able to catch the discs as they should.

How to Bleed Brakes by Yourself Step by step Guide

In order to learn how to bleed drum brakes or disc brakes, you need to understand the main components. They are the master cylinder, the one where brake oil is added and the bleeders on the calipers or the slave cylinder. In some cases, the Symptoms of a Bad Brake Master Cylinder can be the same as when there is air inside the system. Ideally, you would need help from a friend. He or she will press and hold the brake pedal while you can remove the air bubbles. But, there is a way to get the job done all by yourself. To do so, you will need a simple tool. Follow the steps precisely. You will also learn how to bleed brakes with abs.

Bleeding the brakes is a mandatory part of maintenance. Air can penetrate the system in so many ways and when that happens your stopping power will be compromised. In some cases the brakes may not function at all meaning you won’t be able to drive a car. A garage may charge you up to $200 for this only, but you can do it all by yourself. It is an extremely easy and straightforward process that can be completed within 10 minutes and you can do it with your friend or alone.

Pressurize the master cylinder

The product you can see and you can use for this purpose is known as Motive Products, European Power Brake Bleeder. It does precisely as the name suggest. It will increase the pressure inside the master cylinder and the entire system which allows you to remove the air from it without any help. The model is well-made, supported many vehicles and extremely easy to use. Of course, it is portable and can be used literally anywhere.

If you are looking for another product of the same kind, we recommend you Power Probe BAKIT01 Master Brake Bleeder Kit. This kit is better due to the fact it is compatible with more cars. There are adapters included which allow you to use it literally on any car. We believe mechanics or people who like fixing their cars will benefit the most out of this kit.

Anyway, here you need to attach the pressure kit to the master cylinder. Remove the cap and attach the adapter. All bleeding brakes order must start with this step. Once attached, all you have to do is to use the hand pump and increase the positive pressure inside the system. Once you are done, be free to move to the next step. Keep in mind that this isn’t the same process as for how to bleed brakes with a vacuum pump. It is similar but this pump should be attached to the bleeders on the calipers. What this means that the pump will pull out the air from the system instead of pushing it out. Both methods are equally effective and popular and there are no major differences, except this one. Choose a method that is easier for you and the one that can be done without the help of a friend. It is a mandatory task.

If you have a friend who is willing to help you instead of using a bleeder you will need him to press the pedal a couple of times. He will hold it pressed while you removing air from the system. Repeat the process couple of times and you are done.

Remove the wheel if needed

 	how to bleed brakes with one person

On most cars, you can do this without removing any wheel. The key is to reach the bleeder screw on the caliper itself. Each caliper has a separate screw and each one should be protected by a rubber cap. If the cap is damaged or missing, replace it. It is used to protect the bleeding screw form dirt and debris. Without it, they will get inside the bleeder and prevent oil and air from exiting when needed. Some of you may be interested in how to get the air out of brake lines without bleeding.

Now lift the car using a car jack and remove a wheel if you can’t reach the bleeder screw. Work with one wheel at the time. It is much easier.

Undo the bleeder screw for a short period of time

how to bleed brakes with one person

At this moment you have the entire system pressurized and you can remove the trapped air. Attach a small hose, transparent to the bleeder screw and undo it for 0.5-1 second. You will see the air bubbles and oil escaping the caliper. Now, pressurize the master cylinder again and repeat the process. In a nutshell, you should repeat this a couple of times. You can also perform Brake Check at this moment.

Bleed the air from all calipers using brake bleeder kit

How to bleed brakes by yourself

There are 4 calipers, one per each wheel and you need to repeat the third step to each one, a couple of times. When you see that the oil escapes the caliper only, without any air bubbles, you are done. Ideally, you would perform these steps to all 4 calipers and make sure there is no air trapped in the system. Regardless of the fact did you replaced brake pads, a caliper or run out of oil, bleeding brakes are mandatory. If you Change brake pads and rotors you must bleed the brakes as soon as possible.

Make sure there is oil inside the master cylinder

How to bleed brakes by yourself

In some cases, you will bleed too much brake oil and air. This is common and it may happen that the brake oil in the master cylinder runs out. When this happens, the air will be sucked inside the system once again and you will have to repeat all the steps once again. That’s why it is mandatory to make sure there is always enough brake oil in the bottle on the master cylinder. By making sure there is enough oil, you eliminate the risk of trapping the air inside the system once again.

We should tell you that the Brake Fluid color should be yellow or dark yellow. If it is black, it means that the oil lost its properties and it should be replaced. You will do this by increasing the pressure on the master cylinder and opening all bleeder screws on the calipers. Tighten them and add oil to the system. Now you can start the process again, from the beginning and remove trapped air. It is definitely a mandatory part of the regular maintenance. You can also use special pens that can determine the health of the brake oil. They are cheap and useful.

Tighten the bleeder screws and remove the brake bleeder unit

How to bleed brakes by yourself

The last step is to remove the brake bleeder you attached to the master cylinder. Also, tighten all the bleeder screws and place the rubber caps again on all of them. Inspect the brake system for the signs of brake failure while doing this. Place and tighten the cap on the brake oil bottle and wipe excess oil from it.

It is important to add that when bleeding the brakes you need to use transparent hoses on the bleeder screws so you can see the air and oil escaping the system. If you use black or rubber hose which isn’t transparent, you won’t know when the air is removed. In addition, make sure you collect that oil in a bottle. It can affect and ruin the paint on any item including a car.

If you cannot get the desired effect after bleeding the brakes, it is a symptom of another issue. The biggest and most common failure is linked to the master cylinder. It has rubber seals that deteriorate over time and when that happens you won’t be able to push oil through the system as much as needed. The only solution is to replace the master cylinder.

If you hear Brake Noise it is likely that brake pads should be replaced. If you cannot remove air from the system, meaning that there is air despite the fact you are bleeding the system several times, something is damaged. It can be a brake pipe or the bottle for the brake oil at the top.  This issue must be fixed as soon as possible and you won’t be able to stop properly until it is solved. After all, now you how to bleed brakes by yourself and you are ready to tackle this process all by yourself.

Bleed brakes by yourself – DIY Brake Bleeder tool – Brake Flush

FAQ

What order should I bleed my brakes?

Ans: You should start by bleeding the brake caliper that is the farthest from the master cylinder. Move your way up to the closest. In most cases, you need to start with rear wheels and then move to the front ones. Keep in mind that the master cylinder isn’t in the middle of the engine bay so you need to adjust the bleeding process accordingly. If the car manufacturer requires a different order you need to follow it.

Do you have to bleed all 4 brakes when changing a caliper?

Ans: Yes, you should. It is a simple process and it can have a hugely positive effect on the stopping power. In most cases, you must bleed the new caliper only, but there is no harm in bleeding all the units. Make sure that the brake caliper hose is secured while replacing the caliper itself so the brake oil doesn’t escape the system.

Do you have to bleed brakes when changing pads?

Ans: Yes and no. If you manage to replace brake pads without a need to undo the bleeder screw and push the pistons inside, you don’t need to bleed the system. If you must undo the bleeder screw and push the pistons inside then yes you will have to bleed the system. The process and the recommendations apply to the drums as well.

What is the best brake bleeding kit?

Ans: The best brake bleeding kit is the one that is affordable, comes with many adapters which allows you to use it on various vehicles and is easy to use. Of course, if you have a need to use it on one car only, you can get a simpler model that is more affordable. If you are a mechanic you will need a model with the adaptors. They are more than just helpful and they have a huge effect on the stopping power.

What happens if you don’t bleed brakes?

Ans: If you don’t bleed the brakes, regardless of the main reason why you must do it, the air inside will compress when pressing the brake pedal. This means that you won’t be able to get the stopping power needed and you won’t be able to stop properly. Basically, the air will make the system inefficient in pressing the pistons ion calipers that should press brake pads and catch the rotor. In simple words, your brakes will be weak.

Conclusion

Now you know all about how to bleed brakes by yourself without any help. The entire process is extremely easy yet incredibly important. A brake system won’t work as it should when there is air inside and the only thing you can do is to remove the air by bleeding the brakes. Remember that the air will be compressed inside the system but the oil won’t. This increases the brake pedal travel and is unable to press the brake pads enough to stop the car. When the air is removed, you will have excellent brakes.

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