How to Bleed Brakes

Closeup of Brake Rotor and Caliper

Keep your brake system working at its best with much-needed brake service, which includes brake bleeding. If there’s air trapped in your car’s brake system, you have two options: learn how to bleed brakes to release the air yourself or bring your car to the service professionals at Regal Kia to get it done for you. Down to get your hands dirty and fix this issue? The process isn’t complicated, but it can take some time and patience! Find out how to bleed brakes by yourself below before resuming your commutes in Winter Haven.



Why is Bleeding the Brakes Important?

Bleeding the brakes may sound intense, but it’s just a part of taking care of your vehicle’s brakes. The moisture resistance of brake fluid wears down eventually, and the fluid will begin to absorb water. Air can also get into the brake system, causing the brake pedal to feel “soft” or “spongy” when you press it on your Plant City drives. Bleeding the brakes helps remove any trapped air, giving your brake pedal a firmer feel.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself

Before you get started, make sure you have the right brake fluid (check your owner’s manual to be sure), a box-end wrench, a fluid holder and tubing, and an assistant to help you. When you’re ready, here are the steps you will need to take:

Step 1:

On solid and level ground, jack up your car. Then, remove all of the wheels.

Step 2:

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

Step 3:

After the screws are loosened, tighten them again. Bleeding your brakes is a slow process and you need to bleed one brake at a time; the other three screws need to be tight to avoid air bubbles.

Step 4:

Pop the hood and check the master cylinder reservoir’s brake fluid level. Make sure your car has the appropriate amount of fluid. While you’re bleeding the brakes, leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed but still resting on top of the reservoir. To start, 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 5:

Secure the end of a piece of clear tubing (about 1/4 inches in diameter) over the first bleed screw. Put the other end of the tubing into a receptacle of some sort, 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. In any case, 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 6:

You’ll need an assistant for this step. 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. Instruct them to keep pressure on the pedal. Meanwhile, open the bleeder screw a bit. Fluid will move through the tube and the pedal will start dropping closer to the floor. Make sure your assistant continues to apply pressure.

Step 7:

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

Step 8:

Repeat the previous two steps about five times at the same bleeder screw, or until the fluid stream no longer has any bubbles.

Step 9:

Then, repeat steps 6,7, and 8 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 10:

After you’ve finished bleeding your brakes, instruct your helper to apply the brakes, then quickly release the pedal. While they do that, watch the fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If the fluid is bubbling significantly, there’s still air in the system and you’re not quite done. However, if the fluid is moving only slightly, you’ve bled the brakes fully.

Step 11:

Before putting the wheels back on your car, tighten each of the bleeder screws. Again, don’t use all of your strength — just apply enough pressure to make sure they’re secure.

Get Brake Service at Regal Kia

If this process sounds too tedious and you’d like a professional to get it done for you instead, schedule your appointment online today! Be sure to take advantage of our specials on your visit as well!


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