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Bleeding Your Brakes

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Difficulty
Bleeding your brakes is a pretty easy DIY. You will need a helper and will need to lift the entire car off of the ground, but it is not difficult. If you are changing out your brake fluid it will take a little bit longer since you must get all of the old fluid out.

Tools Needed
Brake Bleeding Kit (Contains a bleeder bottle with hose and can be found at any local auto parts store)
Rubber Mallet
Turkey Baster (For removing extra brake fluid from the reservoir if you're changing your fluid out)
9mm Wrench

Parts Needed
1L DOT4 Brake Fluid (I recommend ATE Super Blue and ATE TYP 200 Yellow brake fluid. This makes changing your brake fluid easier with different colors as well as better performance characteristics.) Make sure that the bottle is fresh and has not been opened. Brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture. Therefore, you want fresh fluid that has not absorbed any moisture (which lowers its boiling point).

Warning! Brake fluid will strip your paint! Make sure that you protect all of your cars paint and do not spill it!

Instructions

Safely lift the car and remove the wheels
1. Using a lift or a floor jack with jack stands lift the car and remove the wheels. Instructions for jacking up your car can be found here. This can be a very dangerous step, so make sure that the car is properly secured before ever getting under it. Never get under a car that is just supported by a jack!
2. Using a 17mm deep socket with an impact wrench or hand ratchet, remove the lug nuts and set your wheels aside. If your alloys are seized onto your brake rotors, sit down on your but and give the sidewalls of the tires a good kick until it has become unloosened. If they have seized on, make yourself a note to add some anti-seize lubricant to the brake rotors before installing the wheels.


Locate the brake fluid reservoir

Locate the brake fluid reservoir
1. Locate your brake fluid reservoir under the hood on the drivers side.
2. If you are changing out all of your fluid, take the turkey baster and suck out as much as you can, leaving a little bit in the bottom. (This will make the bleeding process go much faster. Make sure not to drip any on your paint.
3. Fill up the maximum level with fresh new DOT4 fluid. Do not reuse old fluid or any fluid that has been previously opened. Make sure that the top is closed when bleeding.

Bleed in the following order:
1. Passenger side Rear tire
2. Drivers side Rear tire
3. Clutch
4. Passengers side Front tire
5. Drivers Side Rear tire


Locate the bleeder nipple for the caliper


Locate the bleeder nipple for the clutch

Locate the bleeder nipple
4. Starting with the passenger side rear wheel, locate the bleeder nipple on the caliper.
5. For the clutch, look on the drivers side of the transmission up there high. It's a tight space and will not be very fun to do, but it's gotta be done.

 


Bleeding Setup

Bleed
6. Grab a partner for some help and place them in the drivers seat. If you're lucky maybe they will do the hard work and you can sit in the drivers seat.
7. Make sure that the brake fluid reservoir is full and the cap is on tightly.
8. Have your partner pump the brake or clutch pedal 3 times and then have him signal you to open the 9mm bleeder nut until fluid comes out.
9. When your partner feels the pedal get near the floor, have them yell and close the bleeder nipple.
10. Continue until you don't see any bubbles in the line coming out. Also if you are changing your brake fluid, wait until you see new fluid coming out.
11. Before moving on to the next caliper, take your rubber mallet and hit the caliper to loosen any bubbles and do the bleeding process a 2-3 more times. Make sure to retighten the 9mm bleeder nut as well.
12. Repeat ensuring that the proper order is maintained. Also check to make sure that the fluid is not getting too low (if you are changing your brake fluid) because this is bad, that is all that needs to be said.

Properly dispose of the old brake fluid
13. Be friendly to the environment and properly dispose of your brake fluid. Go to your local auto parts store or mechanic.

Conclusions

This is a simple do-it-yourself job and it should be completed at least every 2 years to ensure that your brakes remain in good working order! This is an essential step in maintaining your vehicle and will keep it running for many more miles, not to mention making sure that you're able to stop when you need to.

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