How to Bleed Brakes

Nissan mechanic checking brakes

Automotive maintenance includes many crucial tasks, like getting regular oil changes and inspections. One of these crucial tasks is bleeding car brakes. However, brake bleeding is an often overlooked maintenance item. Don’t be one of the Henderson and North Las Vegas drivers who fails to bleed your brakes; instead, learn how to bleed brakes by yourself now with the Hyundai of Las Vegas service experts. Better yet, schedule service with us today to let the pros handle it!

Why is Bleeding Your Car’s Brakes Important?

Bleeding the brakes on your vehicle may sound like a serious undertaking, and while it’s time-consuming, it’s a necessary maintenance item. Why is that? Well, over time, the moisture resistance of brake fluid decreases, and it starts absorbing water. That’s when air gets trapped in the brake lines, creating a squishy feel when you use the car brakes. Bleeding the brakes helps remove this trapped air, resulting in more accurate brake functioning and brake pedal feel.

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself

You’ll need these items before attempting to perform a DIY brake bleeding procedure:

  • Brake fluid
  • Car jacks
  • A box-end wrench
  • A fluid holder and tubing
  • An assistant to help you

Note that while you may not need an assistant for every part of the brake bleeding process, this really is not meant to be a one-person job. Now, with that out of the way, here’s what to do:

Step 1:

Consult your Hyundai owner’s manual to be sure you have the correct kind of brake fluid. There are many different types of brake fluid, so it’s important to know for sure that you’re using the right kind. Your owner’s manual should also indicate how much fluid to add.

Step 2:

On solid and level ground, use the car jacks to lift your car. Then, remove all of the wheels.

Step 3:

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

Step 4:

After you’ve loosened the screws, it’s time to tighten them all again. Note: Bleeding car brakes is a slow process that must be done deliberately. You need to bleed one brake at a time; the other three screws need to be tight to avoid air bubbles from entering the system. Don’t start bleeding the brakes just yet, though. First you’ll need to pop the car’s hood.

Step 5:

Check the master cylinder reservoir’s brake fluid level under the hood of your car in the engine bay. Make sure your vehicle has the appropriate amount of fluid. While you’re bleeding the brakes, you’ll want to 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. Note that your vehicle may require a different order. You can check your owner’s manual or ask a technician for guidance.

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 of some sort, such as a plastic bottle. You can also purchase an inexpensive brake bleeding kit from most car part stores — or order one online. Make sure the tubing is long enough so 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 7:

This step will require assistance. Turn the car engine off if it’s on. Then, ask your assistant to pump the brake pedal several times until they feel resistance pushing back against the pedal. Tell them to keep applying pressure on the pedal. Then, 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 keeps applying pressure.

Step 8:

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

Step 9:

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

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:

After you’ve finished bleeding your brakes, tell your assistant 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 12:

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 Hyundai of Las Vegas!

Looking to get brake service done right the first time in Las Vegas? Hyundai of Las Vegas has your back with our team of expert brake bleeding professionals! Plus, we offer a rotating range of service specials designed to help you save on all your car maintenance needs. In the meantime learn more about the Hyundai warranty, our services, and more.

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