How to Bleed Brakes in 10 Steps
At Pat Peck Honda, we love helping our Gulfport and Long Beach area customers improve their vehicle's longevity by answering their most-asked questions about basic vehicle maintenance, like how to bleed brakes.
While this may sound dramatic, it just refers to ridding your car's braking system of trapped air and old fluid. Doing so maintains proper brake function. It's a very simple process you can do right at your Biloxi home.
In fact, we broke it down into 10 easy-to-follow steps.
How to Bleed Brakes Part 1: Change the Brake Fluid
The first step to bleeding your brakes is changing the brake fluid. This is something you should do approximately every three years because fluid can deteriorate over time, causing you to pump your brakes full of air. However, be sure to check your model's exact needs.
Changing the brake fluid can be done in four steps:
- Turn off the engine and allow it to cool
- Elevate your car and remove the wheels
- Suction old fluid out of the master cylinder reservoir. A turkey baster works fine. Then, clean out any residue in the reservoir and refill it with the appropriate brake fluid. Check your owner's manual or contact your local Honda service center for the right kind of fluid.
- Pump the brake pedal at least 15 times.
After you've replaced the brake fluid, the next step is to remove the old stuff from your system by bleeding the brakes.
How to Bleed Brakes Part 2: Bleed the Brakes
You'll need a helper to complete the following process:
- Loosen the bleeder valve on the wheel furthest away from the driver. So, in an American car, that's the rear passenger-side wheel.
- Attach a clear plastic tube (like an aquarium tube) to the bleeder bolt. Put the other end in a clear plastic bottle with an inch of clean brake fluid in the bottom to prevent air from being sucked back into the brake cylinder.
- Have your partner press down on the brake pedal as you turn the bleeder bolt to the left and allow the fluid to drain. Once it stops, close the bleeder valve.
- Have your partner remove the brake pressure
- Repeat until new, clear, bubble-free fluid comes from the bleeder tube.
- Repeat steps 1-6 on the other wheels, moving to the rear driver-side, then the front passenger-side, and finally the driver's wheel.
Be sure to constantly refill the master cylinder reservoir throughout this process. Neglecting to keep it full can cause more air to enter the system and require you to begin the whole process over again.
Do You Need to Bleed Your Brakes?
Aside from your regular brake fluid changing, you should also bleed your brakes whenever you have any brake repair service performed.
If they need to be bled, your brakes may feel spongy or soft. You may also begin needing to apply more pressure or pump the brakes to come to a stop. When you notice these signs, follow the steps above to bleed your brakes or contact your local Honda technician.
Schedule Brake Repair Service Today
We hope we could answer all your questions about how to bleed brakes, but if you're unsure, or you want to take advantage of the extensive experience and know-how of a professional, we encourage you to bring your car by Pat Peck Honda near the Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi areas.
Use our online portal to schedule your service today!