How to Bleed Brakes

Brake repair

Brake service is an essential part of keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance. It encompasses smaller repairs that help keep your vehicle’s overall brake system fine-tuned. One of those repairs is called brake bleeding, which is when the brake system has air trapped in it. If you’re wondering how to bleed brakes by yourself, follow this handy guide from the service team at Land Rover Charleston, your trusted Charleston Land Rover dealership. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our service center if you have any questions on how to bleed brake lines.

Why is Bleeding the Brakes Important? 

While this might sound like a huge task, it’s just an essential part of taking care of your car’s brakes. Over time, the moisture resistance of brake fluid will wear down, which is when the fluid starts to absorb water. Air can get into the brake system, which causes the brake pedal to feel “spongy” or “soft” when you press on it. By learning how to bleed the brake lines, you’re going to remove any of the trapped air to give your brake pedal a firmer feel.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself 

To bleed the brakes right at home, you will need brake fluid, a box-end wrench, a fluid holder, tubing, and assistance to help. Once you have everything, just follow these steps:

Step 1: 

First, check your owner’s manual to make sure you have the correct brake fluid. Since there are so many different types of brake fluid available, it’s essential to know which is the right one for your vehicle. The owner’s manual also tells you what the replacement intervals are for brake fluid. 

Step 2: 

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

Step 3: 

Locate and loosen the four caliper bleeding screws. (If they don’t loosen immediately, do not try and twist hard with the wrench. Instead, spray the screw with penetrating oil and wait about 30 minutes before trying again. If the screw strips or snaps, don’t go any further — bring your car to our service center near Huntington right away.)

Step 4: 

Once you have loosened the screws, tighten them again. Bleeding your brakes is a slow process, and it requires you to bleed each brake one at a time. The other three screws need to be tight to avoid air bubbles. 

Step 5: 

Pop the hood and check the master cylinder reservoir’s brake fluid level to ensure it has the appropriate amount of fluid. Leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed but still resting on top of the reservoir while you’re bleeding the brakes. To start, you want to bleed the brake furthest from the master cylinder, but your vehicle could require a different order. Check your owner’s manual or ask one of our factory-trained technicians for help. 

Step 6: 

Secure the end of a piece of clear tubing (about 1/4 inches in diameter) over the first bleeder screw. Put the other end of the tubing into a receptacle like a plastic bottle. You do have the option of purchasing a cheap brake bleeding kit from any local auto store. The tubing needs to be long enough so that you can place the catch container above the bleeder screw’s height. This ensures that any air caught in the tube will not move back into the brake caliper. 

Step 7: 

This step requires assistance. With the engine off, ask the person helping to pump the brake pedal several times until they feel resistance pushing back against the pedal. Make sure they know to keep the pressure on the pedal. Meanwhile, open the bleeder screw a bit. The fluid will then move through the tube, and the pedal will start dropping closer to the floor. Your assistant needs to continue applying pressure. 

Step 8: 

Make sure they let you know immediately before the pedal reaches the floor. When they do, close the bleeder screw right away. Go ahead and inspect the fluid level in the master fluid reservoir. Fresh fluid may be needed. 

Step 9: 

Repeat the previous two steps about five times, at the same bleeder screw, or until the bubbles in the fluid stream are gone. 

Step 10: 

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: 

Once you’re done bleeding your brakes, have the person helping go ahead and apply the brakes, but then quickly release the pedal. While that’s happening, watch the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If the fluid is bubbling significantly, there is still air in the system, and you’re not done. If the fluid is moving only slightly, you’ve completed the task. 

Step 12: 

Before putting the wheels back on your car, tighten each of the bleeder screws. Remember, don’t use all of your strength — just apply enough pressure so that they’re good and secure. 

Learn More About How to Bleed Brakes Near Parkersburg!

Have more questions about how to bleed brake lines? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our service center with any questions that you may have. If you get stuck along the way, schedule a service appointment right at home, and we’ll take care of the rest. Take a look at our service specials to use on your next routine service appointment at our Charleston service center. 

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