Bleeding the brake lines of your vehicle is essential in maintaining the performance of your brakes. Brake lines can be contaminated with power-robbing air and impurities that will render your braking system less effective. The standard procedure for bleeding brakes requires two people--one to operate the bleed valve and fill the master cylinder with brake fluid, the other to pump the brake pedal. To bleed the brake lines alone you will need a pressure brake bleeder.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Tire iron
- Adjustable wrench
- Dripping pan
- Pressure brake bleeder kit
- Brake fluid
- Spare tire
Open the bonnet of your vehicle. Remove the master cylinder cap, which is located near the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle. Place the pressure brake bleeder kit cap onto the master cylinder.
Lay the spare tire flat, near the master cylinder, on the vehicle's air filter. Connect the tube from the bleeder kit master cylinder cap to the filler nozzle of the spare tire.
Loosen the lug nuts on all of the wheels with the tire iron.
Place the jack beneath the frame at the rear of the vehicle and lift the vehicle. Place jack stands beneath the vehicle, leaving enough clearance to remove and replace the wheels.
Remove the lug nuts and the rear wheels.
Connect the brake bleeder kit tube to the bleed valve on the rear right brake caliper. The caliper surrounds the rotor; the bleed valve is near the upper caliper bolt.
Place a dripping pan below the bleeder tubing. Make one full turn with a wrench to open the bleed valve. The fluid will flow from the tube, pushed by the pressure of the spare tire connected to the master cylinder cap.
Monitor the flow of the brake fluid until the bubbles are no longer present. Close the bleed valve with the wrench. Remove the tubing from the bleed valve.
Place the brake bleeder kit tube on the bleed valve on the rear left brake caliper. Place the dripping pan below the tubing. Open the bleed valve with the wrench. Close the valve when the bubbles in the fluid are no longer present. Remove the bleed kit tube.
Replace the wheels onto the rear wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts by hand. Remove the jack stands and lower the back of the vehicle.
Place the jack beneath the frame in the front of the vehicle. Lift the vehicle and place jack stands under the frame to support the vehicle.
Remove the front wheel lug nuts and the front wheels. Attach the brake bleed kit tube to the front right brake bleed valve. Place the dripping pan below the tube.
Bleed the brake line at the front right brake, then switch the bleeder kit tube to the left brake bleed valve and bleed the front left brake.
Close the bleed valves, replace the wheels and screw on the lug nuts by hand.
Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle. Tighten all of the lug nuts with the tire iron.
Press the brake pedal slowly until the pedal response feels normal. The first depression will offer little resistance.
Remove the pressure brake bleeder kit cap from the master cylinder. Detach the bleeder kit cap's tube from the spare tire and replace the tire.
Fill the master cylinder with brake fluid until the container is within 1/4 inch of full. Replace the master cylinder cap.
Tips and warnings
- Consult your vehicle owner's manual for proper brake fluid.
- The order of brake line bleeding goes from farthest to closest brake in relation to the master cylinder.
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