3-Part Guide to Bleeding Your Car’s Brakes

On your recent drives around Doylestown, Philadelphia, and Warminster, you've noticed your brake pedal's taken on a squishy, soft feeling. It's even taking more pressure than normal for the same level of slowing power to be applied. And you just changed your brake pads, so what gives?

You, my friend, are in need of a brake bleed. The expert technicians at the Fred Beans Ford of Doylestown service center put together this handy 3-step guide to get you up to speed on what you need to do to bleed your car's brakes.

First of All, what is Bleeding Brakes?

Bleeding brakes is the process of removing the existing brake fluid in the master cylinder and brake lines that's become contaminated with air. During this process, you'll also need to replace what you've removed with fresh fluid and flush the brake lines.

Part 1: Assemble the Tools You'll Need for the Job

Removing the air from your car's brake fluid is a two-part process. To remove the old fluid from the master cylinder reservoir, you'll need your owner's manual, a box-end wrench, 2 unopened 8 oz cans of brake fluid, a turkey baster, a bucket, and a lint-free cloth.

To remove old brake fluid running in the lines at each bleeder bolt, you'll need a 1x4 piece of plywood, a helper to apply the brake pedal while you bleed, a piece of clear aquarium tubing, and a clear squeeze bottle with a small amount of fresh fluid in the bottom.

Part 2: Replace Old Brake Fluid in the Reservoir

To remove and replace the old brake fluid from your master cylinder reservoir, you'll start by locating your brake's bleeder valves and loosening their bolts with your box wrench.

Next, take off the master cylinder reservoir's cover and use the turkey baster to remove the fluid in the reservoir until you reach the bottom. Use your bucket to collect the old fluid. Take your soft cloth to clean out any residue that remains. Then, add new brake fluid and secure the cover to the master cylinder reservoir.

Part 3: Bleed Brakes

Find the bleeder bolt for the rear right wheel. Affix the plastic tubing to the bleeder bolt on one end and to the plastic squeeze bottle on the other. Get your helper to position the piece of plywood under the brake pedal and get themselves situated in the driver's seat.

Instruct your assistant to apply pressure to the brake pedal as they would normally. When the pedal is pressed down as far as it will go, have them give you a signal to let you know, but keep the pedal depressed. Once this happens, give the bleeder bolt a quarter turn twist to the left. And watch as brake fluid comes through the tubing and into the squeeze bottle.

When the trickling stops, release the gas pedal and close the valve. Repeat part 3 until you see fresh fluid come through the bottle, refilling the master cylinder as needed. Then, repeat for each other brake location: the rear left wheel, front right wheel, and front left wheel.

Get Help with Brake Service

We hope this post helped demystify the process of bleeding your car's brakes, and that if you decided to try bleeding them for yourself that that squishy brake feeling is gone for good. If you just wanted to learn more about the process and would rather leave a procedure like this up to the pros, our service center serving Doylestown, Warminster, and Philadelphia is here for you.

The repair professionals at Fred Beans Ford can inspect your brakes and provide an expert decision on what the next best course of action may be, whether that's flushing the system with new fluid, replacing brake pads, or repairing another component. Schedule your appointment with us online today!

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Fred Beans Ford of Doylestown

876 North Easton Road
Directions Doylestown, PA 18902

  • Sales: 215-348-2901
  • Service: 215-348-2901
  • Parts: 215-348-2901

Showroom Hours

  • Monday 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • Tuesday 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • Wednesday 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • Thursday 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • Friday 9:00am - 8:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday Closed
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