How to Replace the Brake Fluid on a Honda CRV

Updated February 21, 2017

Honda markets the CRV with a power brake option as a safety feature. Power brakes use a power booster connected directly to the engine, which then transfers power to the brake master cylinder. This process provides stopping power for the vehicle. The fluid in the system becomes contaminated with time and requires replacement. Flushing the Honda CRV's brake system takes about an hour if done properly with the right tools.

Remove the CRV's brake reservoir cap and siphon out any brake fluid from the reservoir using a turkey baster. When empty, fill the reservoir with clean DOT-3 brake fluid.

Place the jack under the axle and raise the vehicle up a wheel at a time. Loosen the lug nuts and remove the tires. Set them to the side. Place a jack stand under the frame of the vehicle and remove the jack.

Loosen all four bleed screws so the fluid runs out. On the front disc brakes, the bleed screw is on the caliper facing the engine. On rear drum brakes (available on older models), the bleed screw is above the axle behind the drum. On rear disc brakes, the bleed screw is on top of the rear caliper.

Have the assistant press the brake pedal firmly to the floor and hold. Tighten all four bleed screws and have the assistant release the pedal. Repeat the process until clean brake fluid comes out of the screws. Make sure the brake reservoir remains full at all times.

Bleed the passenger rear brake first. Starting with the brake furthest from the reservoir ensures all air in the lines is forced out. Move to the driver rear second, passenger front third, and finish with the driver front to ensure all air is bled from the system.

Place one end of the rubber tubing onto the bleed screw and submerge the other end in a clear plastic bottle partially filled with DOT-3 brake fluid. Check the reservoir to ensure it is full.

Have the assistant press the brake pedal firmly to the floor, then loosen the bleed screw. Monitor the fluid coming out of the rubber tubing and watch for air bubbles. Tighten the bleed screw when the flow stops and have the assistant release the pedal. Repeat the process until you see no air bubbles come out of the tube for three turns. Make sure the brake reservoir remains at least half-full during the process.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the other wheels in the order outlined in Step 1.

Replace each tire and tighten the lug nuts. Raise the vehicle slightly to remove the jack stands one wheel at a time. Tighten the lug nuts to factory recommended torque once the vehicle is fully on the ground. Top off the brake fluid reservoir and replace the cap.

Things You'll Need

  • Turkey baster
  • Jack
  • 4 jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Wrench
  • Rubber tubing
  • Clear plastic bottle
  • DOT-3 brake fluid
  • Assistant
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author