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How to Bleed Brakes

Mechanic Working On Brakes


Your brakes are what allow you to stop safely at traffic lights and stop signs throughout the Columbia area. So, it’s important to know how to maintain your overall brake system. One major aspect of brake maintenance is knowing how to bleed brakes by yourself. It becomes necessary to bleed your car’s brakes when air gets trapped in the system. 

The process of brake bleeding isn’t overwhelmingly difficult, but must be done properly if you want to avoid causing further mechanical malfunctions. Discover how to bleed drum brakes with the service experts at Honda of Columbia below, and if you feel you’d rather leave your brake bleeding maintenance to the professionals, you can schedule service at any time to have our certified techs take a look! 

Why Is It Important to Know How to Bleed Brakes?

It’s tough to predict how long car brakes last, however, bleeding your brakes is a great way to extend their longevity. As time passes, brake fluid becomes more susceptible to moisture. Air can also find its way into the brake system, resulting in a “spongy” or “soft” sensation when you push the brake pedal. Knowing how to bleed your brakes gives you the opportunity to remove this excess air and water, allowing your brake system to function optimally. 

How to Bleed Brakes By Yourself

Interested in learning how to bleed brake lines from your Irmo garage? First, you’ll need a friend, a fluid holder with tubing, a box-end wrench, and brake fluid. After you’ve gathered your materials and assistance, follow these instructions to successfully bleed your brakes: 

Step 1: First, check your owner’s manual to make sure you have the proper brake fluid. There’s a variety of brake fluids to choose from, so it’s important to know which is right for your Honda vehicle. The owner’s manual will also tell you what the replacement intervals are for brake fluid. 

Step 2: Make sure your vehicle is parked on a level surface, then jack up your car. Remove all of the wheels. 

Step 3: Next, locate the four caliper bleeding screws and loosen them. If they don’t loosen immediately, don’t twist hard with the wrench. Instead, spray the screw with penetrating oil and wait about 30 minutes. Then, give it another try. If the screw strips or snaps, don’t go any further — bring your car to our service center right away.

Step 4: Once you’ve loosened all the screws, tighten them again. As you learn how to bleed brakes, you’ve probably noticed that the process is a slow one and you need to bleed one brake at a time. The other three screws need to be tight to avoid air bubbles. 

Step 5: Open the hood and inspect the master cylinder reservoir’s brake fluid level. Make sure your car has the appropriate amount of fluid. Leave the master cylinder cap unscrewed but still resting on top of the reservoir while bleeding the brakes. To start, you’ll want to bleed the brake furthest from the master cylinder, but 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 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 a cheap brake bleeding kit from any auto store or order one online. In any case, the tubing needs to be long enough 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: Now, your assistant will have to get involved. Ensure that the car engine is off, and ask your assistant to pump the brake pedal several times until they feel resistance pushing back against the pedal. Meanwhile, 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 continues to apply pressure. 

Step 8: Have your helper notify you immediately before the pedal reaches the floor. When they do, close the bleeder screw right away. Then, inspect the fluid level in the master fluid reservoir, as there’s a possibility you may have to add more fluid. 

Step 9: Repeat the previous two steps about five to six more times at the same bleeder screw, or until the fluid stream no longer has any bubbles. 

Step 10: Then, repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 on the other three bleeder screws in the correct order — starting with the one further away from the master cylinder and moving to the one closest to it. 

Step 11: Once you’ve finished bleeding your brakes, instruct your helper to apply the brakes, then quickly release the pedal. While they work on that, you’ll inspect 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 Your Brakes Serviced at Our Honda of Columbia Auto Center

If your car’s brake pedal feels soft when you press it, your Honda vehicle most likely needs its brakes bled. Contact us online to find out more information about how to bleed brakes by yourself or feel free to visit us at Honda of Columbia to have our certified service technicians take care of it for you! We have plenty of money-saving service specials for you to take advantage of, so that price doesn’t have to be a factor in your maintenance decision.

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