Brake Bleeder Kit: Letting the Air Out of the System
When your brake pedals feel a little spongy or it's almost hugging the vehicle's carpet, you may need to bleed your brakes. When the brake pads have gone too thin, the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir drops and it lets the air enter the brake lines. Once air enters the brake system, the hydraulic pressure drops, and it will affect your vehicle's braking power. It's not the end of everything--there is a kit that can help you with this problem; it's called a brake bleeder kit. Picking the right kind of kit is important and here are some tips to help you out.
Bleeding Methods and Kits
Before you go out and shop for a new brake bleeder kit, it's important to know the different methods and kits used in bleeding a brake system. For each technique, a special kit is designed to help bleed the brakes. Let's look at them:
Pump and Hold, One-Person Kit --This type of kit includes a three-piece universal nylon adapter to fit most brake systems, a plastic bottle to collect the bled brakes, and a special one way bleeder valve. The disadvantage of using a one-person kit is that air can get sucked back in through the bleeder valve threads. Also, there is no way of verifying if the brake fluid coming out of the master cylinder has air in it.
Pneumatic Kit -- It's another type of kit that can be done by one person. The difference is that you can easily flush and refill your entire brake system with an air compressor. A pneumatic kit's pump reservoir can hold enough brake fluid to keep the master cylinder filled. Most professional shops use these types of brake bleeders
Vacuum Pump Kit -- It uses vacuum to draw out the brake fluid and air trapped in the system. Most vacuum pump kits have gauges to help you check the pressure from the brake system. The downside is that you need to maintain the brake fluid level in the master cylinder, or risk having air being sucked back in. Its bleeder threads can also draw air in while in operation, but Teflon tape can help seal those threads.
Define Your Needs
Choose a simple and reliable brake bleeder kit that will suit your needs. It doesn't have to be pricey and always go for quality. Always go for the trusted names in the industry when purchasing car maintenance parts.
Brake System Maintenance: How to Use a Brake Bleeder Kit
Maintaining your vehicle's brake system is important and it's necessary to use a brake bleeder kit to help you out. This kit draws air out of the brake system while new brake fluid is drawn into the system with a pump. A well-maintained brake system can save you money in repairs.
We listed the tips, steps, and tools that you need on how to use a brake bleederkit.
Tools that You'll Need:
- Brake fluid
- Lug wrench
- Torque wrench
- Jack stands
- Car jack
- Metric SAE box end wrench set
- Brake Bleeder Kit
Safety Tips and Reminders:
- Make sure that you're working on a solid, level surface.
- Always wear recommended safety equipment like closed-toe shoes, an industrial-grade dusk mask, safety goggles and gloves.
- If the brake bleeder screws are rusted or frozen out, use penetrating lubricant or apply heat to loosen them up.
- Do not let the master cylinder's reservoir fall below 1/4 during the bleeding process as air may be drawn back into the system.
- Exercise caution when handling braking fluid. Do not let the fluid touch your vehicle's paint as it may cause severe damage.
Step 1: Loosen the wheel's lug nuts with a tire iron. Once they're loose, use the jack to raise vehicle's front and lower it carefully onto the jack stands. Make sure that the vehicle is secure and properly supported.
Step 2: Remove the tires and lug nuts from the wheel mounts. Set the lug nuts and tires aside.
Step 3: Open the master cylinder reservoir's cap to check the brake fluid's level. If the level is low, add brake fluid before bleeding the brake system.
Step 4: Attach the brake bleeder kit's hose to the brake-bleeding nipple. It's usually located at the brake drum or caliper farthest from the master cylinder.
Step 5: Use a properly-sized box end wrench to open the bleeder screw and slowly pump the vacuum pump. Pay attention to the air bubbles and fluid coming through the hose.
Step 6: If you see clean fluid coming out, use the box end wrench to secure the bleeder screw. Move to the next brake drum or caliper and repeat the procedure.
Step 7: Once you're done bleeding all the brakes, Reinstall all the wheels and use a lug wrench to torque the lug nuts. Make sure that all the wheels are secured before lowering the vehicle.
Step 8: Check the master cylinder's reservoir and add brake fluid if necessary.
Step 9: Step on the brake pedal and verify if the brake feels firm when depressed. Drive your car around and check if the brakes are working properly.
Bleeding your brakes with the brake bleeder kit will take about 45 minutes for an expert DIYer and around an hour for a beginner. It's a fairly easy project and good luck!