A 5-Step Guide to Loosening a Brake Bleeder Valve

If you are performing some of your own maintenance on your vehicle and the brakes have started to feel a bit spongy you will probably need to bleed the brakes.

Part of the procedure to get this job done will involve loosening the brake bleed screw which is often found at the highest point of each calliper or cylinder.

Here is a look at the steps you will need to take in order to bleed the hydraulic brake system and return your brakes to a higher level of performance.


Getting started

Once you have managed to locate one of the best brake bleeder kits you can in order to help make the job as easy as possible, the next step is to locate the brake bleeder screw.

It is often best to carry out the brake bleeding operation with someone else helping you if you can, as there are points in the process where an extra pair of hands would come in handy.

Having located the brake bleeder screw behind each of your brakes you will need to loosen it using a wrench, but you must only loosen it and not remove it.

It is often the case that the screw might offer some resistance and be difficult to move. Rather than just trying to move it with brute force it is a good idea to apply some penetrant around it, which should make it more pliable to movement.

Get ready to catch the liquid

Next step involves connecting one end of a suitable pipe into the end of the screw and the other end inside a bottle, ready to catch the liquid as it comes out.

Make sure that you fill the bottle with enough fluid so that the pipe’s end is submerged.

Get some help for the next stage

You can’t be in two places at the same time and that is why the step requires someone else to help you.

What you want the other person to do is to sit in the driver’s seat and push their foot down on the brake pedal when you tell them to.

With the bleeder screw in the open position, brake fluid will start to come out when pressure is applied to the brake pedal.

You might see some bubbles while you are doing this which is normal.

Take your time with this part of the brake bleeding process as this is the most critical step that needs to be done properly if the job is going to be a success.

When the bubbles stop

Now start to tighten the screw while the other person is still holding the brake pedal down for you.

Repeat this process of loosening and tightening the screw until you cannot see any more bubbles in the brake fluid.

Fill up the master cylinder

Remember that it is required that you fill up the master cylinder with brake fluid before bleeding each individual brake.

Failure to follow this step will likely result in the cylinder becoming drained of fluid and it is likely that you will end up drawing air into the lines.

If this happens, you may well end up bleeding the master cylinder too.

Once you have followed all these steps and the master cylinder is full, it is time to tighten up the bleeding screws and tidy up.

Bleeding your brakes is not difficult from a technical perspective but a good attribute would be to have some patience if you are going to complete the process competently and successfully.

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