There are a lot of factors that can affect whether or not you have to bleed your brakes after changing pads.
Bleeding your brakes is always recommended after changing your pads or rotors. If your mechanic opens the bleeder valve you will need to bleed your brake lines.
This can be different depending on the age, model, and make of your car.
It is important to keep in mind that bleeding and flushing your brakes are not the same thing. Don’t stop reading if you want to learn about the differences.
I will explain when, why, and how to bleed your brakes after you replace your pads.
I get asked by the customer if it is necessary to bleed their brakes when a car rolls into the shop for pad replacement.
I understand that it can save a couple of bucks, but it is not always a waste of money. If you haven’t changed your brake fluid in a while, every car manufacturer recommends it.
A preventive maintenance method recommended by most car manufacturers is a brake fluid change.
One of the most important safety parts of your vehicle is the braking system. It can be determined by how the car mechanic is doing his work.
To make sure the brake master cylinder doesn’t get damaged, some technicians prefer to open the bleeder valve while they’re done.
You need to bleed your brakes in this situation. Some models allow squeezing the caliper back in without opening the bleeder valve.
There is a chance to skip bleeding your brakes. I recommend you change your brake fluid if your car manufacturer recommends it.
Why Should I Bleed My Brakes?
Have you noticed that your brake pedal has become less effective lately? Do you know if your car or truck is taking longer to brake?
You are probably going to need to bleed your brakes. The main reason for bleeding your brakes is to make sure you don’t have any air bubbles in the system.
Air trapped in the system can cause problems with your braking components.
Your car’s brake fluid will age and get contaminated as it ages. The boiling point will be brought down because of this.
Do you know what this means for you? Your car will have poor performance when it comes to brakes. This can help avoid a crash in some instances.
Keeping your braking system lubricated is the role of the fluid. As it gets worse, your braking components will get worse as well, leading to big bills.
Car safety systems rely on clean fluid to function properly. In an emergency, the anti-lock braking system and traction control will help you stop the car.
If they break down, these modules will cost you a couple of hundred dollars. It is better to have regular maintenance work on your car than to have to replace large parts.
How to Do It?
You can bleed your brakes by taking your car to a repair shop and having a professional do it.
They have everything you need to make sure your car doesn’t get damaged in the process.
Some mechanics can come to your place if you need them. Here is a step-by-step guide if you feel confident that you can do it.
- The bleeder screw looks like a nozzle, so you will need to jack up your car and check it.
- A bleeder wrench is a special tool that you will need to loosen the screw. The reason for this is to make sure there is no damage to the screw. If you are having a hard time getting the screw loosened, you can spray some lubricant.
- You will need a small hose to connect the screw and the other end to a small recipient.
- You will need a friend who will jump into the car and press the brake pedal. It will help squeeze the fluid from the system.
- You should ask your friend to keep pressing the pedal while you tighten the screw. When you are done, you should ask your friend to release the pedal.
- Ensure no more bubbles come out of the system by repeating this process three or more times.
- If you want to repeat the process, add braking fluid to the correct level and then do it again.
- You will need to fill up the cylinder one more time after you repeat the process for each wheel, to make sure your brakes work properly.
Difference Between Bleeding and Flushing
The main reason for bleeding your brakes is to get some air out of your system. This won’t be able to get all the brake fluid out of the system.
Your brake fluid will be replaced with clean and fresh fluid if you do not flush it. It is recommended that you have your brake fluid changed every 2 years to ensure its longevity.
How Can It Affect the Car?
Air bubbles can get into the system if you allow them. It’s better to pay $75 to $100 and have your brake line bled than it is to replace the ABS module for hundreds of dollars.
How Often Do I Need to Do It?
I would tell you to bleed your brakes every time you change your pads or rotors.
If it has been more than 2 years, I recommend you flush your brake fluid to prolong the life of your car components.
Is It Possible to Do It at Home?
You can bleed your brakes on your front yard if you have the knowledge and tools.
If things go wrong, you might have to pay more for repairs than you would have paid a certified mechanic to do.
It is possible to find mechanics who will come to your place and work on your car for an extra fee.
If you want to save a bit of money, you can have your brakes bled when you change them, as this will also cost you less.
Depending on how well you maintain your car or truck, it can be either easy or hard.
I always suggest my customers take good care of their vehicles because they will take good care of them.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!