If you`ve noticed that over time your brakes have begun to feel a little squishy or less responsive than normal, there`s a good chance that you`re dealing with air in the system behind your breaks. Although this isn`t too much of a cause for concern, it`s always good to keep your vehicle in tip top shape, especially when it comes to safely and quickly coming to a stop in an emergency. For those worried that this is a rather complicated or costly procedure. You will see that the process on how to bleed brakes is relatively simple and you can certainly do this at home, with the help of a family member or a friend.
You`ll need to to get your hands on a brake bleeder wrench or some sort of wrench that is going to fit the nozzle on your car that gives you access to the bleeder. You`ll also need a glass jar, a can of the suitable brake fluid and someone to give you a helping hand.
All that said, let`s have a look at how to bleed brakes by yourself, without a mechanic.
For our readers with advanced braking mechanisms or EBD or ABS brakes, we suggested that you do head to a mechanic such as Enji Australia for these issues as you don`t want to run the risk of accidentally aerating the actuator.
This can cause further issues and potentially reduce the safety features of these more advanced braking technologies.
Here`s How to Bleed Brakes Yourself
Locate the Small Brake Bleeder Nozzle
The first thing you`ll want to do is find the brake bleeder nozzle. Depending on your vehicle`s make and model, this may or may not be a little hard to find.
We suggest that, if you can, you jack up your car so that you`re able to more easily crawl underneath the car and find this nozzle. Always be sure that you`re using a safe jacking tool and find an old towel or piece of fabric to lie down on when you`re under the car.
Once you`ve made your way under the car, the bleeder nozzle should be on the inside of your breaks.
Use Your Wrench to Loosen the Screw
As we mentioned at the start of the article, you will need to have a rather specific type of wrench to make this process possible.
Once you`ve found your bleeder screw, use your wrench to slowly loosen it. Do not use a typical screwdriver or any other rather abrasive tool as you could round out the screw and prevent yourself from being able to do it back up.
If the screw is overly tight, don`t twist or push on the screw too much. Get your hands on some lubricant or a spray like WD-40 and use this to loosen it up.
Once you`ve loosened the screw, tighten it right back up.
Find Your Glass Jar and Place the Hose over the Screw
After you`ve loosened and tightened your brake bleeder, find a small hose or some type of funnel that will cover this brake bleeder entirely.
Ideally you should have a small hose that is the same size as the bleeder screw.
Place this small hose over the top of the screw and have one end of the hose in the glass jar. Inside this jar, you should have some brake fluid and the end of the hose should be entirely covered by this fluid.
Get your Helper to Pump Your Brakes
With the small hose and the glass jar all connected to your brake bleeder screw, ask one of your friends or family members to give your brake pedal a few pumps.
It`s a good idea to have your assistant let you know when they`re pressing down on the pedal and when they`re releasing it.
Once they`ve pressed the pedal a few times, you`ll then be able to move on to opening the screw.
Open Your Bleeder Screw
After those few brake pedal pumps, you`ll need to be careful that brake fluid doesn`t come shooting out of the nozzle too quickly.
Work to slowly open this bleeder screw and you`ll see fluid and possibly air bubbles spraying into your glass jar through the hose you`ve been using.
If you`re seeing air bubbles along with some of the fluid, this will let you know that there was, in fact, air in your brake lines and this was causing the lack of responsiveness when using your breaks.
Tighten the Bleeder Before the Brakes are Released
Once you`ve completed the entire process and your helper has kept their foot on the brake pedal, quickly tighten up your bleeder nozzle.
If you don’t have this nozzle tightly closed, air will be drawn back into the brakes when the pedal is released — the opposite of what we want to happen.
That said, tighten the nozzle and then have your friend lift the pedal.
Refill Your Fluid
Once you`ve completed all of these steps, it`s then time to refill your brake fluid to replace anything you may have lost when doing these tests and you`re all done!
Your brakes should be free of any air and you`ll be on your way to better-responding brakes.