What Bleeding the Brake Lines Means, and Why It’s Done

November 25, 2020 12:03 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Hydraulic brakes will occasionally need to be bled or purged. This is a common part of vehicle maintenance that helps to keep your brake system operating safely. Most vehicle experts recommend that you bleed your brakes every two or three years to keep them in the best possible condition.

But what exactly does this process entail, and why is it so important? Here’s a quick overview of what it means to bleed your brake lines in Athens County, OH.

Bleeding the brakes for better maintenance

Bleeding the brakes becomes necessary because over time, during regular usage, small amounts of air can get stuck inside the brake line. The result can be a spongy feeling when using the brakes—the pedal might go nearly down to the floor before it actually engages. It’s important to have brakes that respond as expected and don’t require you to use too much force—otherwise, this could be dangerous for your driving.

Air is more likely to get into the system if you have brake pads that have already significantly worn down, but poor servicing can also result in this vulnerability. In addition, an air leak can occur in the brake line, causing air to get trapped in the system. In some cases, driving practices such as regularly slamming on the brakes can result in air getting into the brake line.

Regardless of how the air got there, though, it’s important that you get rid of it from the system. Here are the steps to complete this process:

  • Loosen the brake bleed screw located behind each brake and re-tighten it, but not too tight. You will need to use a bleeder wrench to loosen those screws.
  • Place a flexible rubber hose on the end of the bleeder screw, and the other end of the hose in a jar filled with brake fluid to cover the end of that hose.
  • Have another person pump the brake pedal several times, and hold the pedal down while the bleeder screw gets opened again.
  • If done properly, there should be some brake fluid that squirts out, with air bubbles visible in that fluid. While you have the brake pedal pushed down, the bleeder screws will be retightened. The brake pedal can then be released.
  • Keep repeating the process until there are no longer any air bubbles visible inside the fluid. The entire process should be repeated for every wheel.

You may need to also take this time to add new brake fluid into the system, or to change your brake pads. In general, though, good brake maintenance is crucial to the safety and operation of your vehicle, and it should be a priority as you work to keep your vehicle in good condition for years to come.

If you’re interested in learning more about why mechanics need to bleed brake lines, or if you wish to schedule a service appointment, we encourage you to contact a mechanic at Dana’s Tire Center in Athens County, OH today. We look forward to working with you.

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