Dos and Don'ts When Buying a Brake Bleeder Screw
Working like a bottle cap, the brake bleeder screws secure the brake fluid inside the cylinder. Your vehicle's bleeder screws may get rusty and worn over time. That is why choosing a high-quality brake bleeder screw is important in maintaining your car's brake system. When you're on the hunt for a bleeder screw replacement, always check the following do's and don'ts.
- Determine your vehicle's brake bleeder screw size. You can consult your car's manual or check a credible online source for your vehicle's specifications. It's a lot easier to look for a compatible bleeder screw if you know your stock screw's overall length and other measurements.
- Identify the material suitable for your car's brake bleeder assembly. Brake bleed screws are usually made of either steel or stainless steel. If you want a durable bleeder screw, then go for a steel one. But if you're uncomfortable with your bleed screw rusting over time, then get one that's made of stainless steel.
- Look for a bleeder screw with a patented thread sealing. This enables air and moisture displacement during thread engagement. It also prevents pulling back air into the system during bleeding.
- An OE replacement bleed screw guarantees easy installation. Get a brake bleed screw that's manufactured by an OEM.
- If you want to hit two birds with one stone, then buy a brake bleed screw sold as a set. The set usually includes two bleed screws, for the front or rear brake systems.
- Don't consider buying a bleed screw not intended for the brake system. Installing a different bleed screw, such as a radiator bleed screw, into the brake cylinder may damage your brake system. Because the screw threads are different, it's more likely to cause brake fluid leakage.
- Don't compromise quality for affordability. You'll see that investing on high-quality brake bleed screws are more advantageous in the long run. Remember that when a substandard screw breaks, your brake cylinder may also get damaged.
- Don't risk buying a brake bleed screw with no warranty from either the manufacturer or the auto parts store. Bleed screws are usually covered with varying warranty periods, such as a 12-month warranty or a 12,000-mile limited warranty.
Releasing the Bond: How to Remove Frozen Brake Bleeder Screw
The brake bleeder screws are mounted on the brake calipers, subjected to moisture and other corrosive elements such as road salt. When the brake bleeder screws rust, the threads on these screws form a seal with the caliper, making it nearly impossible to unscrew them. To remove this seal, you need to penetrate rust and lube the bleeder screw threads using an oil penetrating product.
Safety tips: Always wear safety gloves when doing any form of car repair. And to avoid accidents, ensure that the parts are secured wherever they are attached, such as the caliper in the c-clamp.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools to be used:
- Rag or paper towel
- Oil penetrator
- Drip pan
- Work bench or table
- Long handle ratchet
- Wrenches and sockets
- Mallet or hammer
Step 1: Use a wrench or a ratchet to loosen and detach the brake line located at the caliper's rear. Get a drip pan and drain any fluid inside the caliper through the bolt hole, where the brake line was screwed into.
Step 2: Loosen any rust that seals the bleeder screw to the caliper by spraying the oil penetrator to a rag or paper towel. Make sure that you apply oil penetrator on the rag or paper towel generously, saturating the rag with oil penetrator.
Step 3: When the paper towel is fully saturated with oil penetrator, wrap it around the brake bleeder screw. Leave it on the bleeder screw for as long as indicated by the product's manufacturer. Use a c-clamp to attach the caliper to a solid work area, such as a work bench. With the caliper secured on the c-clamp, both of your hands will be unoccupied and the caliper is secured from slipping.
Step 4: Attach the right-sized socket to a long-handled ratchet and connect the socket to the bleeder screw. Then, loosen the screw by turning the ratchet in a counterclockwise manner.
Step 5: While turning the ratchet with your one hand, tap the ratchet handle's back end with a mallet or hammer. This helps loosen the seal between the screw threads and the caliper.