Do It Yourself Brake Bleeding

Owning a car means many things, and one of them is the fact that you will have problems at one point or another. Many people believe that by purchasing only new cars they will avoid having any kind of problem, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. The matter is that cars are built by humans and humans do make mistakes on a regular basis. So you may purchase a car and drive it off the lot only to have it break down ten miles down the road. There is no tried and true method to avoiding a car that breaks down. Things will happen and they will need to be taken care of.

One thing that can go wrong is a leak in the brake system. When one is driving on the roads there is always debris that can fly up to the underside of the car. Once in a while this debris can cause problems. Stones and such fly at a high rate of speed when they are hit by the tires and if they strike a brake line in the right place a hole or puncture can occur. You will notice right away that something is just not quite right. The brake pedal will most likely feel mushy and go further down then normal. In the most extreme circumstances the brakes can fail all together.

A hole in a brake line means that the hydraulic pressure that was built up is now gone and the fluid inside is not pushing to the brake system like it should. The more you push on the brakes the more fluid will be lost. Now you have two choices in this matter. One is you can pull over immediately and call for a tow truck. This can get pricey and may take a long time.

The other choice is to slow down and drive home and get the car parked. A hole in one line usually means that those brakes will fail, either the front or the back. You will have limited use of the other brakes, which is enough to get you home.

The first order of business is too fix the leak. This is normally not too difficult and a simple compression fitting from the local auto parts store will take care of the problem.

Now, once you have the leak fixed you will need to purge the air from the lines. If you do not then the brakes will still feel like they are leaking. So you will need to bleed the brakes.

Note, this is not a one person job. You will need one person inside the car and one outside the car. Here is the way you do it.

One the caliper or behind the drum is a small port that looks something like an udder. This is the bleeder valve. Get a wrench that fits the valve and make sure you can get it loose.

Now you need to tell the person inside the car to start pumping the brakes. Once they have pumped for a minute tell them to hold the pedal down and you need to release the valve. The valve will spit air. Close the valve and have the person release the pedal. Repeat this process until you are getting a steady stream of brake fluid when you open the valve. Refill the fluid tank and you are all done.

WARNING: Make sure that you read and follow all directions on the packaging for any fluids or parts that you purchase for your auto to prevent injuries or illnesses.  Also make sure to wear the proper safety equipment when working on your auto, such as gloves and goggles.